Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday said he had never claimed that Tuesday’s protests at Maval, where three persons were killed in police firing, were a planned conspiracy. He differed from his Deputy Ajit Pawar, who had said earlier in the day that the protests were “pre-planned and the BJP was responsible for it.”
Three persons were killed when the police opened fire after protestors, opposing the 35-km-long water tunnel from the Pavana dam to Pimpri-Chinchwad, blocked the Pune-Mumbai expressway.
Mr. Chavan, addressing the media after chairing a meeting with the local administration, said: “I have never said protests were a pre-planned conspiracy. It is also not appropriate for me to say that the Opposition parties had a hand in the protests turning violent.”
Asked whether the police should have invoked Section 144 on the expressway to prevent the gathering as Mr. Pawar had stated earlier, Mr. Chavan said: “I am not going into any kind of speculation. What should have been done and what went wrong will come out in the judicial inquiry.”
To a question whether the protesters were not taken into confidence, leading to alleged misinformation about the project, the Chief Minister said: “In all projects we are never able to explain the entire thing and convince the people totally. But it’s the duty of the government to remove the doubts. In this case I am not sure [on what really happened].”
Mr. Chavan said the government should not take people for granted. Further decisions on the project would be taken keeping in mind people’s interests. Hindu