MP Delkar’s suicide: Maha cops book UT Admin for ‘atrocities’ (Ld)

In a move that could spark off a Centre vs Maharashtra political row, the Mumbai Police have booked the Administrator of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Praful K. Patel, in connection with the suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli tribal MP Mohan Delkar, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced here on Wednesday.

Patel’s name figures in the FIR filed by the Marine Drive police station, which is investigating the case since the past over a fortnight.

Among other things, the UT Administrator has been booked under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and the Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, said Deshmukh.

The development came a day after seven-time Lok Sabha MP Delkar’s widow Kalaben, son Abhinav and daughter met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deshmukh and made a plea for a thorough probe into his death.

On Tuesday, the Maharashtra government had said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) shall be set up to probe the death of Delkar, who was founded hanging in a Mumbai hotel room on February 22, triggering a nationwide political furore.

Earlier, Delkar had released a video detailing how he was allegedly being harassed, humiliated and targetted by the UT administration, the police and various probe agencies, with attempts being made to book him and his supporters in fake cases. When he enquired the reasons for the witch-hunt, he was reportedly told that “Upar Se Order Aaya Hai” (order has come from the top).

The Mumbai Police had initially registered an accidental death report, but now it has been converted into an FIR while an SIT will probe the case.

In a couple of related developments, a delegation of Lok Sabha members from different parties led by NCP MP Supriya Sule called on Speaker Om Birla in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum.

Requesting the Speaker to take cognisance of Delkar’s death and ensure that such incidents are averted in the future, Sule urged him to refer the late MP’s allegations made in the Lok Sabha to the Committee on Privileges.

The memorandum was signed by the MPs from other parties, including Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, and members of Shiv Sena, DMK and BSP.

The issue also figured in the Lok Sabha with Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut and Kaushlendra Kumar of the Janata Dal (U) urging the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the matter.

Kumar and Raut demanded the sacking of the UT Administrator, Collector and Superintendent of Police, saying that they should be booked for murder.