Cop assault: Five Maha MLAs suspended for rest of the year

Sachin Suryavanshi
Mumbai, Mar 20: The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today suspended five MLAs for the rest of the current year, for assaulting a police officer in the Vidhan Bhavan premises yesterday.

A resolution to this effect moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil, was adopted by the House by voice vote.

Those suspended for their involvement in the incident are: Ram Kadam (MNS), Jaykumar Rawal (BJP), Kshitij Thakur (Bahujan Vikas Agadhi), Rajan Salvi (Shiv Sena) and Pradeep Jaiswal (Independent).

Making the announcement in the House, Patil said the MLAs' action was "serious and lowered the dignity of the august House".

During the course of their suspension till Dec 31, 2013 the MLAs will not only be barred from participating in the proceedings, but will also not be allowed to enter the legislature premises in Mumbai and Nagpur.

Sachin Suryavanshi, an Assistant Police Inspector attached to the Worli police station was beaten by a group of MLAs outside the visitors gallery at Vidhan Bhavan, the state's legislature complex, after he allegedly made some "provocative" gestures.

Suryavanshi had stopped the vehicle of Kshitij Thakur, a Bahujan Vikas Agadhi MLA, on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link on Monday when Thakur was on way to attend the Assembly session and slapped a fine for over speeding.

The MLAs had defended their action and accused the officer, who had to be wheeled out on a stretcher, of starting the fight during which Kadam claimed to have fallen after being pushed by Suryavanshi.

A defiant Kshitij Thakur had refused to tender an apology to Suryawanshi.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had condemned the incident and termed it as a "reprehensible" act, which had never happened in the state legislature before and promised "strictest action" against the guilty.

When asked about the possible action against the MLAs, Chavan had said that "criminal action and disciplinary action are two different things and will be known tomorrow".

Criminal action against the MLAs may follow as the FIR registered on the basis of Suryavanshi's complaint includes the names of Kshitij Thakur and Ram Kadam, besides 14 others.

The accused have been booked under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation).


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