Mumbai, Nov 22 (IANS) An association of Maharashtra forest officials has demanded criminal prosecution of Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde and his supporters for allegedly insulting and roughing up a senior forest officer and vandalizing his office here on Thursday.
The Indian Forest Service Association Maharashtra (IFSAM) has shot off a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s Office, Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police Datta Padsalgikar and others highlighting the November 19 incident in Thane.
That day, Shinde along with some 250 supporters including women barged into the office of the Chief Conservator of Forests, Thane, Rajendra Kadam, to highlight certain grievances.
They protested against what they termed as alleged “inaction by Kadam to protect plantations of around 100,000 sapling carried out by the Kalyan MP” which were reportedly found burnt by some miscreants a few days ago.
Irked by this, Shinde – son of Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde – and his activists abused Kadam, threatened him and threw ink and ashes at the officer in his chambers.
“Shinde along with the mob not only assembled unlawfully in the office premises of the CCF but also went to the extent of insulting verbally and throwing ash … on his body,” the IFSAM said.
Later, the police arrived on the scene and arrested the MP and around 45 of his party supporters. They were released after a few hours on bail.
Kadam later told the media that the attack could be ‘pre-planned’ since he was only informed that a delegation would call on him that day.
“This act on the part of the MP is absolutely uncalled for and stands unlawful by any standard. This shocking incident shows that the MP not only crossed the limits imposed on him by the democratic system but also acted criminally by intimidating an officer belonging to the All India Service while on official duty,” the IFSAM said.
IFSAM demanded criminal prosecution of the MP and his supporters besides ensuring adequate safety and security of the officers performing their duties.
On Tuesday, thousands of forest department officers and employees all over Maharashtra protested by sporting black bands. The Maharashtra Forest Rangers Association has threatened to go on a strike if the MP and his men are not booked by December 2.