The Maharashtra government told the Supreme Court on Monday, that it has taken effective steps for protection of lives and religious faith of north Indians and non-Marathis in the wake of an alleged hate campaign launched by the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
The state government said several agitators were arrested and cases were registered against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray for disrupting the Railway Recruitment Board Examiniation on October 19, 2008, and making allegedly derogatory statements. The apex court was also told that the Chhat Puja, practiced by the people of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, was held peacefully this year and the previous year in which three to four lakh devotees assembled at various places in Mumbai and no untoward incident had occurred. "This was mainly due to strong punitive as well as preventive action taken by the Mumbai Police. The diligence of Mumbai Police played a crucial and diligent role in maintaining law and order on sensitive occasions," the Maharashtra government said in an affidavit placed before a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and B S Chauhan.
The court was hearing a PIL filed in November 2008 by Delhi-based trader Salek Chand alleging attacks on north Indians by the MNS have led to a chain reaction elsewhere in the country and threatened to destroy the nation's unity and integrity. Advocate Sugriv Dubey alleged the affidavit was an "eyewash" as attacks on north Indians are taking place and the state government has failed to take effective action against the MNS chief.
However, the Bench said the affidavit clearly metions the steps taken against the culprits and measures taken for smooth conduct of the Chhat Puja."Chhat Puja has gone smoothly," the Bench said. The advocate said action have been taken against innocent persons but the state government has not taken adequate steps relating to the murder of two doctor brothers from Uttar Pradesh.
The petitioner had alleged the state police remained a mute spectator when two north Indian doctor brothers -- Omprakash and Mayur Dubey -- were killed by a mob on provocation by Raj Thackeray last year. However, the state government in the affidavit said the duo were murdered and their uncle was seriously injured in an attack which was the outcome of a political rivalry and competition and the incident had nothing to do with MNS agitations against north Indians.