Deshmukh meets Patil to discuss Maharashtra situation

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (UNI) With pressure intensifying on Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to contain violence against North Indians in Mumbai, the Chief Minister today met Home Minister Shivraj Patil and apprised him of the situation in the state.

Mr Deshmukh reportedly assured the Home Minister that adequate steps were being taken to bring peace and provide protection to the people needing it.

The meeting is significant in view of the Home Minister asking the state administration yesterday to provide protection to the people needing it. Expressing concern over the attack on North Indians on the instigation of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Mr Patil had asked the state government to ensure that no individual or group is intimidated and their property destroyed by providing protection to those requiring it.

The State Government has been asked to take necessary action against the miscreants indulging in such activities without delay and to provide protection to those who may need it or may be vulnerable.'' Mr Deshmukh also met UPA President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the situation in the state. The meeting was significant in view of the immense pressure from the UPA allies to arrest MNS Chief Raj Thackeray for his remarks against North Indians.

The Chief Minister's consultations with the Home Minister and Party chief is seen as a clear sign that the Maharashtra government would act tough on Mr Thackeray in a day or two.

Meanwhile, the state government has sought the opinion of the Advocate General and leading luminaries on what action could be initiated against Mr Thackeray so as to nip in the bud the effort to sow divisive seeds in the minds of the people.

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