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Mumbai Cong chief claims he is under ‘house arrest’, police deny

Sanjay Nirupam

    
Mumbai : Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who planned to lead a ‘silent’ march of party workers to the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting here today, claimed he had been placed under “house arrest” by police which denied the charge.

Mumbai Police said the personnel deployed outside Nirupam’s residence were only part of the security arrangements made across the city in view of the PM’s visit for launching some major projects.

“The area outside my house is under heavy police bandobast and I am being prevented from stepping out,” Nirupam told PTI,

“In the present democratic set up Opposition leaders are being virtually kept under house-arrest,” he alleged.

Asked about Nirupam’s allegation, Mumbai Police spokesperson, DCP Ashok Dudhe. said, “We have deployed policemen across the city especially on the route of PM’s convoy to maintain law and order as well as to avoid any untoward incident during his visit.”

Nirupam said the morcha was planned as a peaceful march to highlight some live issues.

“We have a lot of questions for the PM. He should answer graft allegations made by our Vice President Rahul Gandhi instead of mocking him. Modi should also answer when the people will get back their right to deposit and withdraw their own hard earned money from banks. It is more than a month. Since demonetisation citizens are still suffering due to cash crunch,” he said.

AICC General Secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Mohan Prakash accused the police of curbing the democratic rights of political rivals, which he alleged was being done at the behest of the government.

“Earlier, the government put restrictions on citizens’ rights to access their money and now there are restrictions on freedom of expression as well,” he said.

Condemning the “house arrest” of Nirupam, MPCC spokersperson Sachin Sawant said, “It is indeed, a black day for Indian democracy. This act confirms the fact that the BJP government has a sadist and fascist mindset, which denies the citizen’s basic fundamental constitutional right to protest peacefully.”

Meanwhile, former CM Prithviraj Chavan said it was wrong on part of the BJP led government in Maharashtra to ‘detain’ Nirupam.

“He was going to stage a protest against demonetisation in a peaceful manner. Such suppressive regime doesn’t augur well for democracy,” Chavan said.

Chavan, who performed a ‘bhumipujan’ of the Pune Metro a day ahead of the official one by PM Modi, said as per CRZ norms no construction is allowed in the sea.

“CRZ norms should have been changed before going ahead with the Shivaji memorial project,” Chavan said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan termed the police action on Nirupam and Congress workers a “blot” on democracy and one which has displayed the “fascist” attitude of the BJP.

“Stifling the voice of the Opposition parties is a blot on Indian democracy and is highly condemnable. The Congress had only engaged in a silent protest against the demonetisation decision but using police machinery to stop the protest is like choking values of our democratic values,” Chavan said in his statement.

“This incident has once against reaffirmed that BJP is a party with a fascist mindset. We have the right to speak against the decision of a government, that has in many ways subjected the common man to cruelty. But the BJP does not believe in democracy and its principles,” he said.

Chavan said that time and again, the voice of Opposition is stifled and those questioning the government’s policies are termed “anti-nationals”.

“The police action on Sanjay Nirupam was taken because he sought clarification from the PM to the charges levelled by Rahul Gandhi. But the Opposition will not relent. It will keep agitating against injustice,” Chavan said.

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