UPA allies urge strong action in Maharashtra

October 29th, 2008 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Key allies of India’s ruling coalition including the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Wednesday denounced the lynching of a labourer from Uttar Pradesh in Mumbai, with the LJP demanding President’s Rule in Maharashtra. Reacting sharply against the attacks on non-Maharashtrians and the state government’s failure to control the violence, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said: “Maharashtra has become a Banana Republic. The north Indian parties should speak up against such incidents.”

A 25-year-old youth from Uttar Pradesh, Dharamdev Ramnarain Rai, was lynched in a running suburban train by a gang in Mumbai, a day after a Bihar youth, Rahul Raj, was shot dead by the police in Mumbai after he attacked the conductor of a bus and fired at a passenger.

Describing the killing of Rai as brutal murder, Railway Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad sought a probe by a sitting judge into the incident. “It is a brutal murder.”

He said he had taken up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

“The situation is becoming worse… The people of north India are really worried. I also spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister (Vilasrao Deshmukh). Tough action is needed,” Lalu said.

He alleged that Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his nephew and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray were trying to break up the country.

LJP chief and central minister Ramvilas Paswan demanded the dismissal of the Congress-led government in Maharashtra and President’s Rule in the state.

He said Raj Thackeray and Bal Thackeray should be tried on charges of murder and sedition in view of their anti-north Indian campaign.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has announced a probe into the incident by the state chief secretary.

The incident - only a day after Bihar youth Rahul Raj was shot dead by Mumbai police - prompted the union home ministry to seek a report from the Maharashtra government on the circumstances leading to the death as well as over the security of other non-Maharashtrians.

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