Panel finds cop, two MLAs guilty; asks for code of conduct for legislators

The state legislative committee appointed to probe the alleged thrashing of Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryawanshi by legislators has concluded that the two MLAs Ram Kadam and Kshitij Thakur were indeed involved in the incident. The committee that has wrapped up its probe is also believed to have found fault with the API for his rudeness towards the legislators, sources have revealed.

MLA Kshitij Thakur
Less than a month ago, MLA Kshitij Thakur was caught on camera thrashing a police officer, and was even suspended for sullying the corridors of Vidhan Bhavan with the unprecedented act of violence. But going by this fresh image captured by our lensman, it doesn’t take long for foes to turn into friends in bureaucratic circles Thakur was seen exchanging pleasantries and a firm handshake with a cop at the inauguration of the Dahanu-Churchgate local train service yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande

The seven-member committee’s report, which was submitted to Speaker Dilip Walse Patil yesterday, is likely to be tabled in the state assembly today. The report recommends that the Speaker of the assembly establish a code of conduct for MLAs, as there is none in existence at present. The presiding officers should define a code that will govern the behaviour of legislators during interaction with government officials and the common public.

A legislative panel headed by senior PWP member Ganpatrao Deshmukh was appointed to probe the unprecedented incident that sullied the corridors of the Vidhan Bhavan on March 19. The committee was instructed to go through CCTV footage of the incident and take note of statements given by the API and the legislators. The panel’s probe proceeded parallel to the inquiry conducted by the Crime Branch.

The legislative panel recorded statements of 17 people, including the API, five MLAs suspended by the state assembly for their alleged involvement in the incident, security officers of Vidhan Bhavan, and Crime Branch officers who are investigating the case.

The panel has reportedly concluded that both Kadam and Thakur are to blame for thrashing Suryawanshi. However, there is no evidence available to prove that three other MLAs independent Pradip Jaiswal, BJP leader Jaikumar Rawal and Shiv Sena legislator Rajan Salvi — were involved in the fight. This is based on close examination of the CCTV footage. The report is believed to recommend that the suspension of these three MLAs be revoked forthwith.

The report is said to have recommended that the suspension of Kadam and Thakur be curtailed till the beginning of the Monsoon session, which takes place from July to August every year. The committee also concluded that Suryawanshi had indeed misbehaved with Thakur. His suspension has already been announced by the state government in the state legislature.

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