Practice as you preach....

A week after Maharashtra Deputy CM R R Patil hurriedly brought in an ordinance to make political parties liable for damage caused to public property during protests, his own party has been slapped with the first case under the legislation.In the wake of widespread violence witnessed in the state after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists went on a rampage after Raj Thackeray’s arrest, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government last week approved the ordinance making political parties and social organisations accountable for the damage caused during protests.
On October 25, NCP student wing activists attacked the office of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Nashik protesting the alleged involvement of Hindu rightwing organisations in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts. According to Nashik police, NCP students ransacked the office, damaged furniture and desecrated photographs of national leaders. The protestors also allegedly blackened the faces of some VHP activists who were present in the office. Nashik officials said the NCP has been asked to cough up Rs 20,000 for the damage.“All the procedures are complete and the parties which need to pay under the new ordinance have been identified. Everything is ready. The legal formalities have to be completed and then the fine will be recovered. It should be done this week,” said Nashik collector and District Magistrate S Chockalingam.
Chockalingam added: “The ordinance modifying the Bombay Police Act was notified on October 23 and this is the first case under the ordinance. Now all the rights have been concentrated with District Magistrate. We are being careful as it is the first case and we want to make sure that there are no legal problems later.” NCP spokesperson Hemraj Shah said: “They have made a demand of Rs 20,000 for damages. One of the leaders was an ex-office bearer, he will have to pay. But I think R R Patil has said that the party will pay for the damages as per the ordinance.”

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