Ajit Pawar admits "intelligence failure" after protests outside Sharad Pawar’s home blew up


Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday admitted an "intelligence failure" a day after the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) protests outside Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s home blew up. A senior police official, Sharad Pawar's nephew said, has been appointed to probe the incident. Over 100 striking workers of the MSRTC held a protest outside the NCP supremo's residence in Mumbai on Friday. The protesters were raising slogans against Sharad Pawar, throwing stones at his residence. Blaming Pawar for their losses, the protesters said that Sharad Pawar did “little to resolve their concerns”. As per a senior police official, over 100 protesters, including women, were taken into custody on Friday. They were taken to the Yellow Gate police stations and an FIR was registered against them under several sections of the IPC.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said that the protestes were a “conspiracy”. “Soon it will be revealed who was behind it. Sharad Pawar Sahib had no connection with ST workers strike. Someone is trying to disturb the political and social atmosphere in Maharashtra," he said while speaking to the media. Meanwhile, home minister Dilip Walse Patil on Friday said that the the MSRTC workers were being misled. "I have given instructions to Mumbai CP Sanjay Pandey and joint commissioner (law and order) Vishwas Nangre Patil to take strict action against those responsible," he said.

Several MSRTC workers have been protesting since November 2021 over “unfair treatment.” The protesters are demanding to be treated on par with the state government employees and that their corporation should be merged with the government.

The Bombay high court on Wednesday had asked the MSRTC protesters to resume services by April 15 after the cabinet had decided against the merger of the corporation and inclusion of its employees as state government employees. Transport minister Anil Parab had said that no action would be taken against those workers who would resume duty by the date given by the court. Following the order, at least 10,000 striking employees resumed their duties on Thursday in Pune.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)