13/7, scribe’s murder set to rock Maharashtra assembly


Mumbai : The July 13 bombings and investigative journalist Jyotirmoy Dey’s murder here are expected to rock the Maharashtra assembly’s monsoon session starting Monday.

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Also set to be raised in the assembly is an underworld attack in which businessman Iqbal Kaskar, brother of India’s most wanted don Dawood Ibrahim, survived but his aide was killed.

The ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led Democratic Front (144 members) enjoys a majority in the house.

But it may not be smooth sailing for the government.

Opposition leader Eknath Khadse said the July 13 terror attack in the heart of Mumbai that left 22 people dead was the outcome of the indifference shown to security issues by the government.

Since November 2008, when Pakistani terrorists massacred 166 people in Mumbai, Maharashtra has seen two major terror attacks.

In the February 2010 blast at German Bakery in Pune, 15 people were killed. The recent Mumbai blasts in Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar left 20 dead and over 100 injured.

Giving a controversial twist, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) Raj Thackeray has said on two occasions that the migrants were contributing to the downslide in the state’s law and order situation.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R.R. Patil might have a tough time taking on the opposition.

Also bound to come up in the assembly is the Congress assertion that it was a mistake to have given the home portfolio to the NCP.

Even the NCP is riddled with internal bickering. Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil said that as a former home minister, he had cleared the proposal to install 5,000 CCTVs in Mumbai.

R.R. Patil has attempted to shift the blame on to the finance department, indirectly targeting Ajit Pawar, who handles the portfolio.

The audacious killing of journalist Dey, 56, of Mid Day, at the behest of mafia don Chhota Rajan, has hit the government hard.

Though the police nabbed nine people and invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against them, the motive behind the killing is still not known.