HM awaits detailed report on Feb 19 episode

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Panaji, Feb 23 (UNI) Home Minister Ravi S Naik has sought a detailed report from Director General of Police B S Brar on the February 19 attack on Panjim Headquarters Police Station that was allegedly led by Taleigao MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate.

Interacting with media persons here today, Mr Naik said he would consider the demand for judicial probe only after studying the police status report on the attack.

Opposition party BJP, NCP coalition partner, several ruling Congress legislators besides, MGP, UGDP and even NGOs demanded a judicial inquiry into the episode while lamenting the ill-treatment meted out to the people's representatives after the attack.

The BJP and NGO Utt Goenkara have also censured vandalism at the instance of the legislator and the attack on the police station. The latter even said that Goa was a fit case for imposition of President's rule with no administrative machinery under control.

The NGO has also written to the National Human Rights Commission seeking a probe into the entire episode at the earliest.

It may be recalled that Babush, his wife and north Goa ZP member, Jennifer, and City Major Tony Rodrigues, along others, were thrashed in lathicharge to quell violence and arson on February 19 night when the legislator led a mob of his followers demanding suspension of a police inspector for colluding with some goons.

The couple, along with four others, were also arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder cops and injuring several others in the melee. The duo were enlarged on conditional bail, later, while the Mayor is still recuperating in a private hospital.

The Home Minister had also alleged that Opposition leader Manohar Parrikar was playing ''double game'' to topple the Congress-led coalition government taking advantage of the ''money power'' of Babush.

He said that BJP was making a futile exercise and that it could not divide the Congress legislators on this or any other issue.

Meanwhile, mauled and bruised Babush lodged a complaint with the Panjim police station yesterday against the North Goa District Police Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Police Inspector and 50 other cops demanding their suspension for their alleged highhandedness at the police station and at his Taleigao residence later on February 19 night.

The cops allegedly raided his house and ransacked property, and smashed the windscreens of his costly vehicles parked outside in retaliation to the attack on police station. If the case was not registered against the cops, he said, he would approach the High Court for justice.

Babush said that he plans to meet Congress High Command Sonia Gandhi in Delhi next week to explain the police brutalities on him, his wife and son seeking action.

He would also lodge a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission against the police brutalities, seeking action against the delinquent cops.

UNI BM NM GT KN1743

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