Stop politics over Juhu molestation case: Congress

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Mumbai, Jan 11 (UNI) The Maharashtra Congress today emphasised the need to avoid playing petty politics over the Juhu molestation case on New year's eve and said the main issue of women's security in the Metropolis was being sidestepped.

Addressing a press conference here, State unit spokesman Sanjay Nirupam, without naming Shiv Sena or Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) said political leaders should avoid jumping to conclusions on basis of one's caste, creed and religion.

He was referring to Shiv Sena and MNS contention that the 14 arrested boys were Maharashtrians and innocent. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and MNS chief Raj Thackeray have also blamed migrants for the molestation of two women outside a five star hotel.

Mr Nirupam said all the 14 arrested accused could be construed as innocent till proven guilty. ''They have every right to knock doors of the court, politicians and even hold press conference. But, political party leaders should refrain from giving them a clean chit with an eye on votes of certain section of the society. This would only embolden the anti-social elements in the society,''he said.

He said the Congress has condemned such 'cheap political stunts'.

When asked about Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil meeting the 14 accused at his residence along with the MNS president Raj Thackeray and MLA Bala Nandgaonkar, Mr Nirupam said as a deputy chief minister and home minister, Mr Patil is duty bound to meet MLAs and political party leaders. ''it is upto his discretion whether to meet people who accompanied the politicians. Mr Patil is a senior politician and knows the protocol of a minister very well,'' he added.

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