Centre sends notices to Mah govt over attacks on N Indians

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) The Centre has sent notices to the Maharashtra Government under Article 355 over the attacks on North Indians, directing it to take steps to maintain law and order and ensure that untoward incidents do not occur again.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil told the Rajya Sabha today that the notices were sent to the Maharashtra government repeatedly under Article 355 on on October 19, 20 and 21.

Taking a serious view of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists attacking North Indians in Mumbai on Sunday for taking the examination conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board, the Home Ministry has sent advisories asking the state government to take all steps to maintain law and order and ensure that such untoward incidents do not happen in the future, a Home Ministry spokesman said here.

Earlier, while replying to the Rajya Members' demand that Articles 355 and 356 of the Constitution be invoked against the Maharashtra government, Mr Patil said the notices to the state Government had already been sent on October 19, 20 and 21 for preventing a violation of the Constitution.

When the members wanted to know under what articles the notices had been issued, the Minister said they were sent under Article 355, though the Article was not mentioned in the letter.

Earlier, the Opposition NDA, Left and also the ruling Congress ally Samajwadi Party flayed the ''inaction of the Home Ministry'' over the developments in the state in which railway recruitment board examinees were attacked by the activists of a chauvinistic organisation, whose chief was demanding that jobs in Maharashtra should be given only to the people of the state.

The Home Minister said the state government in its reply to the Centre claimed out of the 2,29000 candidates who had come for the Railway Recruitment Board Examination, none left without appearing for the test.

As many as 1861 people had been arrested and 336 cases filed, including 280 substantive ones, and 3837 people taken under preventive detention.

Replying to the Members' charges that very mild sections were invoked against the people arrested in connection with such violence, because of which they got immediate bail, the Home Minister said it was not the job of the executive to punish but to prosecute.

''When people are freed on bail, I am not sitting in the judge's place,'' he said.

This invoked a sharp response from the Members and they said if a person was booked under mild sections, the judge could do nothing.

Not satisfied with the Home Minister's reply, the Members of the Opposition parties, barring the Samajwadi Party, staged a walkout.

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