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NCP pays police for damaging VHP office

National,Politics, Mon, 27 Oct 2008 IANS

Nashik, Oct 27 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party Monday paid out Rs.20,000 to the police as a cost for damages caused by its activists to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad office here last week, a VHP official said.


The compensation has been paid out under the serction 7 of the Criminal Amendment Act, for which an ordinance was issued recently, the official said.



"The demand draft (DD) for the amount due to us as compensation under the newly promulgated ordinance, pertaining to the Criminal Amendment Act, Sec 7, has been deposited with Nashik Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy. We have submitted an application to him for the same and hope to get the money within this week," VHP Nashik district secretary Shyam Gharote told IANS in the evening.



The amount of the damages was mentioned in the police first information report (FIR) lodged shortly after the attack on the VHP office by nearly two dozen activists of the NCP youth wing.



The NCP unit here gave the DD to the police commissioner, he said.



"With this, the provisions of the newly amended act will be enforced for the first time in Maharashtra. We hope this may serve as a deterrent for all similar violent protest actions in the future," Gharote observed.



Among the five NCP youth activists nabbed and remanded in police custody is former state leader Ranjan Thakre.



Maharashtra NCP president Arun Gujarathi said the law is "supreme and equal for all" and expressed his party's intention to adhere to it.



"However, we are examining the detailed provisions of the ordinance. Who will pay the costs - party or individual activists? Whether it will be paid before or after the alleged crime is proved in a court of law? Until we are clear about these and related issues, I cannot comment on the matter," Gujarathi told IANS.



Gujarathi added that despite the fact the matter pertains to the home department, headed by NCP's R.R. Patil who is also deputy chief minister, 'the party shall not interfere in any manner with the police action or try to shield the accused activists'.



VHP Western region secretary Venkatesh Abdev had said the costing given by the party pertains only to the damage to furniture and fittings in the office. The cost of medical treatment to the injured VHP activists was borne by police, he said.



"We feel that even the medical costs of the injured victims must be taken into account when recovering the compensation," he said.


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