State to withdraw cases against farmers: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra government has decided to withdraw police cases against farmers who participated in various agitations and demonstrations in the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said today.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

"Farmers are already under stress due to drought. Cases (filed against them with regard to agitations) will be withdrawn to avoid their trips to police stations," Fadnavis, who also holds Home portfolio, informed the Legislative Assembly. He was replying to a discussion on budgetary demands of the GAD (general administration), Home, Urban Development, Law and Judiciary departments in the Lower House.

"You are asking for a full-time Home Minister, but I'm an overtime Home Minister," Fadnavis said, referring to NCP MLA Dilip Walse-Patil's criticism of the BJP-led state government over "rising" crimes. "Police traced a total of 3,821 (missing) children under operation 'Muskan'. This performance is No.1 in the country," Fadnavis said. A slew of decisions taken by the government has increased the crime conviction rate in the state to 52 per cent, the CM said.

Fadnavis had late last year claimed the rate of conviction of crimes was just eight per cent before his government took over in October 2014. Fadnavis spoke on a range of issues during his speech, from metro rail to housing for police personnel. "We are blessed by coastal area and port-led development is important for employment. Due to CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems) project we have been able to connect all police stations," he said.

He said metro rail is the most trusted mode of public transportation system and helps reduce pollution. "When I go to Nagpur after retirement, people of Mumbai should remember that a person from Nagpur tried to transform traffic system in this city," Fadnavis said referring to his hometown in Vidarbha region of the state. The government is making a policy for water treatment. Using that treated water will be made compulsory for power plants, MIDC and industries, the CM said. By doing this, more fresh water will be made available for drinking purpose all across the state, he said.

"We have made 52 cities ODF (Open Defecation Free) till January 31, 2016 and 50 more will join them by April," he said. The Centre selected only two cities (Pune and Solapur) for Smart City project but State Government will add 10 more urban centres to this list on its own, Fadnavis said. The government will provide houses to all police personnel in three years, he stated. Fadnavis asked the Opposition to desist from creating rift between ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena. "Your efforts won't succeed," he said.

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