Maha govt succumbs to Raj Thackeray pressure, shifts top cop Arup Patnaik

Arup Patnaik

Just 48 hours after MNS leader Raj Thackeray held a huge rally, tagged as a 'Hindutva' morcha, where he demanded action against Home Minister R R Patil and Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik for not taking action against violence at Azad Maidan, orders have been issued for the transfer of the top cop - effectively turning him into a sacrificial goat.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik transferred, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil announced.

Satyapal Singh new police commissioner of Mumbai.

A rally at Azad Maidan on August 11 called by Raza Academy to protest against the violence in Assam directed against Muslims there turned violent when certain elements attacked policemen, molested women constables and destroyed property.

Raza Academy had apologised for the violence and said that the attackers were not their members. Academy had appreciated Arup Patnaik and his force's 'sensitive' handling of the situation.

Police Commissioner brought the situation under control within 30 minutes without resorting to firing guns into the public.

Two people were killed in the violence and over 50 injured.

Raj Thackeray had called police action 'ineffective' and had demanded the resignation of the Home Minister and the police Commissioner, taking out a huge rally himself at Azad Maidan that he called a 'peace' rally.

Now, R R Patil must go, says Raj Thackeray

Pune: Welcoming the transfer of Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik following the August 11 violence in south Mumbai, MNS president Raj Thackeray today again demanded resignation of Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, who he said was "ignorant" about his department.

"People are angry with the way police handled August 11 situation (when protesters gathered to condemn Assam violence attacked police and media). In future, there should be no mismanagement of such a situation by police. I do not consider Patnaik's transfer as my victory, as I have no personal enmity with him. Now the minister (Patil), who is ignorant of his portfolio, should step down," Thackeray said at a press conference here.

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