Make 26/11 report public, Maharashtra opposition demands


The 20-member delegation, led by opposition leaders Ramdas Kadam (Sena, legislative assembly) and Pandurang Phundkar (BJP, legislative council), complained that despite assurances by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on tabling the Ram Pradhan-V. Balachandran panel's report, the government only presented the action taken report (ATR) last week.

The government deliberately hid the report from the members though Chavan himself had assured that it would be presented in the legislature, Kadam and Phundkar pointed out.

Following the ruckus by the opposition members who stuck to their demand for tabling the entire report, three senior legislators were suspended on June 16, the last day of the legislature session.
Describing the suspension of the three members as unconstitutional, Kadam requested the governor to direct the chief minister to revoke the suspension as well as place the panel report in the legislature.

While senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde was suspended for three years, his party colleague Arvind Sawant and the Sena's Diwakar Raote were suspended till the end of their term in the legislative council by Deputy Chairman Vasant Davkhare.
Another member, BJP's Sardar Tara Singh who had occupied the chief minister's chair in the house, had tendered an apology to the members for insulting the dignity of the house by his action.
The report inquiring into the lapses in handling the 26/11 crisis, drafted by former union home secretary R.D. Pradhan and former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) official V. Balachandran, was presented to the government last month.

Chavan appointed another committee, comprising the state's Chief Secretary Johny Joseph and Additional chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar, to prepare an ATR on the probe committee's report.

On the last day of the monsoon-cum-budget session of the state legislature, the government tabled parts of the ATR.

Phundkar told the governor that the state government had ignored advance warnings from the central intelligence agencies about the possibility of a terror attack from the sea route, leading to the mayhem that claimed more than 170 lives.

Moreover, no action was taken against the then director general of police, A.N. Roy, for his lapses during the terrorist attacks, the opposition pointed out.
After giving the delegation a patient hearing, Governor Jamir informed that he had consulted the state advocate-general and the law secretary on the issue of suspension of the three members of legislative council (MLCs).

According to their opinion, since the suspension was done on the basis of a motion moved in the house, the power to reconsider the decision is vested in the house itself in the subsequent session and it was not in the governor's powers to revoke the suspension, Jamir pointed out.
The governor also advised the delegation that all leaders should sit together and discuss sensitive issues like terrorist attacks and the panel report in confidence.

"Constant harping on the incidents relating to the 26/11 terror attacks would be demoralisng for the public, the police and the armed forces, and should be avoided," Jamir cautioned.
The assembly elections in the state are due later this year.

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