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Police action on disabled students: Maharashtra initiates inquiry

Several thousand deaf youth were protesting in front of the Social Welfare Commissionerate in Pune on Monday afternoon when the police action took place, resulting in injuries to 35 students

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

PTI

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday expressed regret over the police baton-charge on disabled students in Pune.

Several thousand deaf youth were protesting in front of the Social Welfare Commissionerate in Pune on Monday afternoon when the police action took place, resulting in injuries to 35 students.

Replying to a demand by Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde to suspend the errant policemen, state Revenue Minister Chandarakant Patil said an inquiry had been instituted into the incident.

The Shiv Sena, a constituent of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government, demanded a judicial probe.

Patil, who is the leader of the Upper House, said Dilip Kamble, minister of state for social justice, would meet the students.

"The demands of the students are being discussed. We are positive about fulfilling them. Arrangements are being made to bring the students here. Action would be taken against those responsible (for the lathicharge)," Patil told the House.

NCP leader Munde said if demands of the students were fulfilled at the district level itself, the protest need not have happened.

He alleged that the government was busy issuing advertisements while the youth were demanding jobs.

Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe demanded a judicial probe into the incident, claiming that the police would suspend some of its personnel who would then approach the MAT (Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal) and resume office.

This way, she alleged, the real culprits would go unpunished and the innocent would be targeted.

She also demanded that the transfer of Balaji Manjule, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, be cancelled.

NCP legislator Vidya Chavan attacked the government saying that while it used terms like "divyang" for people with disabilities, the police was attacking them.

"The chief minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, should come to the House and apologise," she said, adding that police should not be made scapegoats in the issue.

Protesting students in Pune were demanding the right to quality education, provision of trained interpreters for deaf students and stopping fraudulent distribution of disability certificates to able-bodied persons.

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