Sack top cops, demands Maharashtra opposition

December 16th, 2008 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Shivraj PatilNagpur, Dec 16 (IANS) A tough talking opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, joined by suspended Congress rebel Narayan Rane, Tuesday issued a virtual ultimatum to the government to sack state Director General of Police Anomy Roy and Mumbai police chief Hasan Ghafoor.The opposition slammed the two top police officers for their “failure” to act on intelligence about the 26/11 terror strike and lead from the front the force under their command in repulsing the terrorists.

“While three top political functionaries - then central home minister Shivraj Patil, then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and then state home minister R.R. Patil - have had to go owning up moral responsibility for the loss of life in the horrendous terror strike, why are the two top police officers directly responsible for it still in their seats?” asked senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde participating in an adjournment motion tabled by the opposition.

Supporting Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam who moved the motion and initiated the debate, Munde quoted Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal as saying that the state government had received intelligence warning thrice between August and September this year that terrorists were likely to reach Mumbai via sea route.

“Besides, the Research and Analysis Wing officers intercepted telephonic talk between terrorists pertaining to the attack thrice in September and passed it on to the police brass who failed to act on it and gear up the machinery,” Munde, who was home minister inn the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance ministry, said.

He pointed out that Ghafoor went three hours later to the spots where terrorists struck and Roy - who was busy in his cabin giving interview to TV news channels when his colleagues Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar were fighting the terrorists - went an hour later.

“That too because then home minister R. R. Patil and then public works minister (now deputy chief minister) Chhagan Bhujbal rushed there,” Munde quipped, and demanded of the new Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Home Minister Jayant Patil to have the two top officers sacked immediately.

Kadam, who claimed to have moved from Vile Parle to Oberoi Trident to Taj Mahal HOtel to Nariman House all through the night, told the house that he woke up commissioner of police (CP) Ghafoor who was sleeping in his air-conditioned car after 9 a.m.

Pointing out that eight kg RDX was found in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus five days after the terror strike, Kadam asked what was the CP doing all this while.

Munde chided the government for going to great lengths to favour Roy by retaining him as Mumbai CP even after his ‘irregular’ appointment as DGP (thus giving him dual charge) and then going in appeal to court when the Central Administrative Tribunal struck it down.

Levelling a serious allegation that a virtual ‘gang war’ was on for a long time within the state police and that honest officers were demoralised as a result, Munde alleged it was happening because of manipulative officers like Roy and Ghafoor.

Making an impassioned speech sans the promised revelations about a nexus between politicians and terrorists, Rane repeatedly recalled the time (in 1999) when he was the state’s chief minister with Munde as his deputy and alleged that Mumbai CP’s post is for ’sale’ in the Democratic Front government of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.

“A few non-corrupt and competent officers were marginalised and the corrupt ones amassed huge wealth as the government focused on money spinning schemes neglecting the vital issue of people’s security,” Rane said.

Former home minister R.R. Patil, however, defended the state police to the hilt, disapproving of the tendency to demoralise them by making such sweeping allegations.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Home Minister Jayant Patil will reply to the debate Wednesday.

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