Monday, December 7, 2009

Malegaon road naming runs into a dead end

Slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare who probed the 2008 Malegaon blasts

Cops Haven’t Issued NOC To Civic Body

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
The Malegaon Municipal Corporation’s plan to name a road after slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare is pending for a year because the police has not issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

The police, in its letter to the civic body, stated that if something (referring to the law and order situation) went wrong, then the corporation would be held responsible.

Residents of the textile town had expressed their wish to name a road after Karkare. The road goes from Bhikku Chowk to Nehru Chowk, the spot where an RDX bomb exploded on September 29, 2008, killing six and injuring 101. Karkare and his team had arrested 11 persons belonging to Abhinav Bharat. The suspects included Indian army’s serving Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, shankaracharya Swami Dayanand Pandey and sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

The proposal to name the road after Karkare was sanctioned by the 72-member corporation, including BJP and Sena corporators, in December 2008.

The then house leader, Rasheed Seth Yeolewale, sent a letter to the police asking for an NOC. However, the police did not respond. “We sent three letters to the police seeking an NOC, but they replied only to the third letter,’’ said Yeolewale. He added that advertisements were placed in Urdu and Marathi newspapers asking for people’s opinion on the proposal. “Not a single person objected to this plan,’’ he added.

The police letter to the corporation stated that this was not their prerogative. “You take your own decision,’’ the letter stated. Yeolewale, however, is not satisfied. “We want a clear answer. We don’t know why they are doing this,’’ he said.

Sanjay Patil, additional superintendent of police, said they did not refuse to issue an NOC.

“We never said we would not issue an NOC. It’s the corporation’s prerogative. If they want to implement this proposal, they can go ahead with it,’’ said Patil.

(The story was printed in The Times of India, Mumbai, on December 7, 2009 edition)

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