After Sena attack, RR Patil bats for Satyapal Singh

Sep 11, 2013, 06:29 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

The Home Minister said that the police commissioner's intentions were not wrong when he commented about Ganesh mandals being responsible for the safety of women

After Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray launched a scathing attack against top cop Satyapal Singh, who had earlier told all Ganesha mandals that women’s security was their responsibility, Home Minister RR Patil came out in support of the commissioner, saying that Singh’s intentions weren’t wrong.

Home Minister RR Patil said that in addition to Mumbai police, 14 companies of paramilitary forces were stationed in Mumbai to ensure security during the Ganesha festival. File pic

The entire incident occurred after Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh had said that the safety of women devotees flocking to mandals was the responsibility of the organisers and if any incident of crime against women was reported, the mandal’s licence would be cancelled.

The statement had evoked sharp reactions, especially from Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who asked, “If Ganesh mandals have to protect the women devotees, then why is there a need for police? In that case, do we need the police force, if they cannot ensure the safety of women in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra?”

Thackeray added, “Lokmanya Tilak started the Ganesh festival during the British rule. Tilak used the festival to mobilise people and unite them against the British Raj. Even then the British government never passed such an order. The government’s decision shows they are not capable of providing security to the people in the state. There’s a complete breakdown of law and order in Maharashtra.”

Patil lends support
However, when asked about the attack, Patil said his men were there to provide enough security to all the devotees. But, the respective mandal organisers also had to volunteer help. He said Singh’s comment did not mean that cops would not provide any security.

“The statement by the city police chief should not be viewed in that sense. He asked mandals to take necessary steps to protect women. Even organisers have been cooperating with the police and there is no need to worry about it.” Patil, during an informal chat at Mantralaya, added that 14 companies of paramilitary forces were stationed in Mumbai and the surrounding areas to ensure security during the festival.

Shakti Mills chargesheet within 7 days
Home Minister RR Patil said that the chargesheet in the Shakti Mills gang rape would be filed within 7 days. The city police were asking for 10 more days, as they needed to gather some more details to make the case watertight. But, we are keen that the chargesheet is filed as early as possible, informed the home minister.

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