Maharashtra denies externment of gau rakshak by police

The local police approached the sub-divisional magistrate's office to initiate externment proceedings.

Mumbai: The state government on Tuesday denied in the Bombay high court allegations that the Malegaon police had ordered externment of a local gau rakshak as it was opposed to his efforts toward cow protection.

The state on Tuesday filed an affidavit before a division bench helmed by justice B.R. Gavai, submitting that it had inquired into the petitioner, Macchindre Shirke’s allegations that he was being targeted because of his cow protection efforts. According to the affidavit, the inquiry revealed that Mr Shirke had a criminal history and that there were several serious cases registered against him.

The affidavit stated, “The petitioner (Mr Shirke) has several cases against him involving serious offences such as culpable homicide, theft and property feuds. However, because of the power he wields among locals, several witnesses were hesitant to testify against him.” According to the affidavit, this was the reason why the police ordered that he stay away from the village for two years so that it could freely question witnesses while probing the criminal cases against him.

The local police approached the sub-divisional magistrate’s office to initiate externment proceedings. The inquiry officer appointed to investigate the case by the sub-divisional magistrate’s office also issued notice to Mr Shirke, giving him an opportunity of hearing before approving the proceedings. However, Mr Shirke failed to appear before the inquiry officer. Following this, the sub-divisional officer granted externment proceedings by taking into consideration the case papers, and the police and inquiry officer’s report. Mr Shirke approached the high court against the decision to extern him, saying he was being targeted as he had lodged over 40 FIRs against people involved in cow trafficking, smuggling and slaughter. The court has deferred hearing on this petition for a week.

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