Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has taken charge of the state home department and will personally monitor the law and order situation in Maharashtra, especially Mumbai.
“In the backdrop of health concerns of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, coupled with sugarcane farmers’ agitation in western Maharashtra, the state administration has been concerned about the law and order situation in Maharashtra,” said a source in the home ministry.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has urged the state government to take necessary measures to ensure law and order in Maharashtra. The Centre has also assured the state additional forces, if required.
Chavan is also regularly holding talks with Shiv Sena leaders, who can help maintain law and order. Though the news that the Sena chief is stable now has come as a major relief to the state administration, Sainiks have been relentlessly raising slogans electrifying the atmosphere emotionally by chanting slogans such as “Balasaheb darshan dya (Balasaheb, we seek your blessings) and “Balasaheb is the only leader”, outside his Bandra (East) residence.
On Friday, Chavan held a two-hour meeting with top police officers to discuss the preparedness. A source in the CMO said: “The chief minister has been on his toes monitoring home affairs at an hourly basis to avert any inconvenience to the people.”
Chavan is also holding talks with Sena leaders who can help maintain law and order, if needed.
The Wake-up Call
The Wednesday night incident, when restless Sainiks attacked a media vehicle and tried to break the police barricades outside Matoshree, was a wake-up call for the home ministry. To manage the crowd outside Thackeray’s residence and VIPs visiting the Sena chief, the chief minister has directed the police not
to compromise on the deployment of forces in Bandra, said a source from the chief minister’s office.