Assembly adjourned thrice over cop's behaviour with MLA's family

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Nagpur, Nov 27 (UNI) The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly was adjourned thrice today, first for 20 minutes and then twice for 15 minutes each, amid an opposition uproar over the alleged maltreatment meted out to the family members of an MLA, who is the brother of a sitting Karnataka assembly member, by a senior police official in Solapur recently.

The proceedings had to be adjourned as the opposition trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against the incident and the absence of response from the government to the four letters from the Speaker on the issue, and demanding an apology from the government for the same.

The opposition members were not satisfied even after Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Harshavardhan Patil expressed regrets for the government's failure to respond to the Speaker's letter, and said there was no intention to insult the presiding officer. The opposition was also not satisfied with the reply from Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, that the enquiry into the incident at the MLA's residence was in the last stage and that suitable action would be initiated after the probe was completed.

The matter was brought to the notice of the House through a notice for breach of privilege motion by Ratikant Patil (Shiv Sena).

Mr Patil said that on August 15 last, when he was in Mumbai himself, Solapur Police Commissioner Ashok Kamthe had stormed into his home along with other staff and beat up his mother and two daughters.

The police commissioner's ire was directed against the family since the family members had burst firecrackers after the 2200 hours deadline during the birthday celebrations of his brother, Ravikant Patil, who is a sitting member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Ratikant Patil said and alleged that the police official was drunk at the time.

No action had been initiated against the official in spite of repeated complaints to the Chief Minister and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Patil said amid cries of ''shame, shame'' from the opposition benches.

Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar said there could be no two opinions that action was justified for violating the deadline on bursting of crackers. However, it was inappropriate to misbehave with the family members of a legislator.

''I personally wrote four times to the Home Department -- on August 16, September 19, October 11 and November 22 -- to ascertain the fact, but to no avail. I have still not received a reply. This shows how sensitive the department is about the prestige of the legislators,'' Mr Kupekar said amid cries of ''shame, shame''.

Several members, including Leader of the Opposition Ramdas Kadam, Eknath Khadse (BJP) and Narsayya Adam (CPM) demanded that Kamthe be suspended forthwith pending proceeding of breach of privilege against him.

UNI

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