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Maha govt issues circular for cops on how to treat MLAs

30 circulars have been issued till date on protocols to be followed by state officials, but the elected representatives are still unhappy; they want another one to be released on how police should behave with them

It seems that when it comes to getting their own work done, the members of legislative assembly (MLAs) are tough taskmasters. After a record 30th circular was issued on how state officials should behave with MLAs, MLCs and MPs, the elected representatives demanded a separate one for policemen.

A new circular was demanded after the MLAs claimed that the traffic cop, Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryawanshi who was beaten up by five legislators last year, spoke rudely to Nallasopara MLA Kshitij Thakur. File pics
A new circular was demanded after the MLAs claimed that the traffic cop, Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryawanshi who was beaten up by five legislators last year, spoke rudely to Nallasopara MLA Kshitij Thakur. File pics

Slamming the contents of circular number 30, group leaders called for another document detailing how police officials should treat the elected representatives. This demand comes in light of a controversial incident in which Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryawanshi was beaten up inside the Vidhan Bhavan premises by Nallasopara MLA Kshitij Thakur, MLA Ram Kadam, and three others, after the cop fined the MLAs for over-speeding.

Even as the incident created uproar and evoked strong reactions from people, MLAs were of the view that the traffic cop was rude to Thakur. The issue figured during a meeting at Vidhan Bhavan yesterday, which was specially called on the issue of treatment to elected representatives.

It was attended by presiding officers of State Assembly and State Council Dilip Walse Patil and Shivajirao Deshmukh respectively, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his cabinet colleagues, along with leaders of opposition Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde. Group leaders of various parties were also called for the meeting.

A fresh government circular, superseding 23 such circulars issued from 1964, along with 6 recent circulars issued since last year, was presented during the meeting. After going through it, Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote objected to a line that said government officials could politely say no to legislators for information asked by them, if it requires huge manpower, extensive time period, large expenditure and labour. Raote demanded immediate review of the provision and questioned how the administration could include it.

Supporting his contention, the CM ordered a review of the directive and asked officials to come out with a correction. “A group of officials will be asked to rework the circular,” said Chavan. Opposition party members, supported by their counterparts from ruling parties, said the 11-page circular was for state government officials and not for the police.

Legislators demanded a separate circular for them, as they had several complaints against the cops. As the issue involving Kshitij Thakur, MNS MLA Ram Kadam and the PSI was still fresh, the government accepted the demand for such a circular.

Now, the state home department and Director General of Police will do the required job. One of the important features of the 30th circular is that the officials who are found to have not followed the protocol will invite adverse remarks into their confidential report (CR), which is crucial for their future postings and promotions.

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