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SIT to probe arson in Beed during Maratha quota stir

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NAGPUR, Dec 15: Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday announced in the assembly that a special investigation team (SIT) would be set up in the next two days to probe arson during the Maratha quota stir in Beed district where homes of two NCP MLAs were torched as he vowed not to spare anyone involved in the violence.

The agitation seeking reservation for the Maratha community in jobs and education had turned violent as protesters torched the homes of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs Sandeep Kshirsagar and Prakash Solanke in Beed, central Maharashtra, in October-end. Solanke’s home was also vandalised.

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Fadnavis, who is also the home minister, said people involved in the incident will be prosecuted.

He was responding to the calling attention raised by Kshirsagar whose house in Beed city was torched during the agitation.

Fadnavis said, “Actionable evidence is available to prosecute suspects. Although the investigation (launched after the incident) has progressed, I will set up an SIT with the approval of the house.”

NCP (Sharad Pawar group) MLA Jayant Patil, a former state home minister, said police could have fired in the air to stop arsonists.

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“An accused person’s name is Pappu Shinde. Why did the local police not arrest people who have criminal background? At least firing in the air (by the local police) could have deterred some of them (violent protesters),” Patil said.

Fadnavis said no one involved in the unlawful act will be spared.

“No need to politicise the issue. Whoever is involved, will be prosecuted. We will spare none, I give you my word,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

Giving the sequence of events on October 30, he said, “A mob of 5,000 people had gathered in Majalgaon (a town in Beed district) and another 1,500 people in Beed city. The Superintendent of Police (of Beed) had first gone to Majalgaon with police force. Later, violence broke out in Beed city and this prompted the SP to take the force back to the city.”

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During the quota agitation, the protesters had set ablaze the first floor of the Majalgaon Municipal Council building. (PTI)

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