Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said the state government will demand death sentence for the accused of Malvani hooch case here.
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In reply to a discussion on the law and order situation in the state in the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly, Fadnavis also claimed that crime rate had declined after the BJP-led government came to power in the state.
"The Malvani case (where over 100 people died after consuming illicit liquor) was a tragic incident. We have charged the accused under section 302 of IPC (murder). Police took immediate action and arrested the accused from Gujarat. We are going to recommend to the court that the accused be hanged," said the Chief Minister.
"There is a substantial decrease in murder, dacoity and robbery cases as of June 2015. Rate of conviction is highest-ever at 32 per cent. We have target of 50 per cent," he said.
The discussion was held on motions initiated by leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Congress) in the Assembly and his counterpart Dhananjay Munde (NCP) in the Council.
The opposition members staged a walk-out in the Assembly saying they were not allowed to speak on the issue. The CM gave his reply in the absence of the opposition. In the Upper House, the opposition members were present when he spoke.
Fadnavis also appreciated the way the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon was carried out and peace was maintained.
The Chief Minister refuted an allegation about discrimination between Marathi and non-Marathi police officers. "I deny any discrimination. They are police officers first," he said.
On the investigation of the murder of communist leader Govind Pansare, he said, "The CID inquiry is underway and it is in the right direction. However, some people are trying to leak news reports. I wonder if they are helping the accused." Education Minister Vinod Tawde, whose engineering degree from a non-recognised varsity is embroiled in controversy, alleged that Congress-NCP leaders who own education institutes and a few news channels were behind the row.
The issue was raised in the Assembly by the opposition.
"Just because I took stringent steps like bringing in capitation fee act, the education institute owners and a few channels have launched a slander campaign against me," Tawde said, adding that he was always aware that his degree from Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth was not recognised by the Mumbai University.