The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Politician’ gaffe stings police chief
- BJP moves breach of privilege motion against Pasricha as breakthrough eludes investigators three days on

Mumbai, July 14: Maharashtra police chief P.S. Pasricha faces action from the Assembly for publicly hinting at the involvement of local politicians in the train blasts.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde today moved a breach of privilege motion against the director-general of police. He accused officers of making baseless allegations to cover up their failure to prevent the attack, and demanded the dismissal of Mumbai police commissioner Anami Roy.

The breach of privilege committee will seek a reply from Pasricha and submit a report to Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar. An apology from Pasricha could, however, resolve the controversy.

On Wednesday, the state police chief had said: “Some politicians in the state are being probed for their suspicious actions and we will act against them soon. Their activities don’t seem to be right.”

He didn’t name any politician or political party. Today, he refused to comment on the Assembly developments, which should come as a blow to police morale as a breakthrough eludes them even three days after the blasts.

Even the Prime Minister today reminded Mumbai police that they needed to upgrade their intelligence apparatus to prevent tragedies of this magnitude.

“Even as our intelligence agencies have done good work and Mumbai police have responded fast to the situation, there is a need to improve ground-level intelligence,” Manmohan Singh said. “I urge the local police to have their ears to the ground and detect any anti-national activities.”

Munde argued that Pasricha’s comments amounted to casting aspersions on politicians. “As per the norms, ministers and officers are not supposed to make statements on important issues out of the House when the House is in session,” he said.

“If what Pasricha said is true, then why did chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and deputy chief minister R.R. Patil keep that information to themselves'”

Munde had attended an all-party meeting addressed by Deshmukh and Patil on Wednesday morning. He said Pasricha, too, was present but didn’t say anything.

“Pasricha’s statements indicate he knew who had done this (carried out the blasts). If so, he should have spoken to the home minister (R.R. Patil holds this portfolio), who could have made a statement in the House. But he chose to speak outside the House.”

Asked if police morale wouldn’t be affected at a crucial time if Pasricha was hauled up by the House, Munde said: “Where is the morale of the police after the blasts' One individual does not represent the police force. In any case, we want a responsible police chief.”

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