SUVs Bought with Nirbhaya Fund Diverted for Y-Plus Security to Shinde Camp

12 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

shinde National

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has received harsh criticism from Congress, Shiv Sena, and NCP for using vehicles purchased with the Nirbhaya budget to give his MLAs Y-plus security.

The Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has been under heavy fire from the Congress, Shiv Sena, and NCP, who together make up the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition in Maharashtra, for used cars purchased with the Nirbhaya budget to give Y-plus protection to the MLAs and MPs in his group of the Shiv Sena.

THE CASE:

The Central government established a special fund dubbed the “Nirbhaya Fund” to execute programmes targeted at improving the safety and security of women in the nation after a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped and killed in the nation’s capital on December 16, 2012. The Nirbhaya Fund has been provided by the Center to the state governments since 2013 to execute programmes relating to women’s protection.

With the Rs 30 crore it got as part of the Nirbhaya Fund in June of this year, the Mumbai police purchased 220 Boleros, 35 Ertigas, 313 Pulsar motorbikes, and 200 Activa two-wheelers and divided them across 97 police stations, cyber, traffic, and coastal police units.

In response to a directive from the VIP Security division of the state police stating that they are needed for use as escort vehicles for MPs and MLAs of the Shinde faction to provide Y-Plus security cover to them, the Motor Transport Department of the Mumbai Police reportedly requisitioned 47 Boleros from several police stations after the vehicle distribution.

The official stated that while 17 of the cars were returned to police stations after the criterion was met, 30 Boleros have not. This has affected police patrols in the jurisdiction of multiple police stations.

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As a result of the occurrence, the opposition Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena attacked the Shinde-led administration, questioning whether the safety of the governing legislators was more essential than the safety of women.

Sachin Sawant, a spokesperson for the Maharashtra Congress, attacked the state administration “Is defending women from assault more essential than ensuring the safety of the governing MLAs? The utilisation of the Nirbhaya Fund, which is intended for the Maharashtrian Nirbhayas, for the protection of MLAs is abhorrent and obscene.”

“SUVs acquired with Nirbhaya Fund diverted to offer Y-plus protection to Shinde legislators. Shameful misuse of power by the Shinde-Fadnavis administration. Eknath Shinde’s parliamentarians must hang their heads in shame,” said Clyde Crasto, a spokesman for the NCP.

According to Jayant Patil, president of the NCP’s Maharashtra chapter, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) administration established the Nirbhaya Fund to safeguard women. While the chief minister claims to have the support of the populace, each breakaway MLA and MP is given Y-plus category security, which consists of 5 police officers. “It is shocking that the vehicles procured for helping the police to carry out their duties of protecting women are being misused for protection of the breakaway MLAs.

The Nirbhaya squad was established to protect and assist our mothers and sisters who are in need, and Uddhav Thackeray poked fun at his rival Eknath Shinde by saying, “We all know why Nirbhaya squad was made. If the vehicles allotted to this squad are being used to protect MLAs, citizens should understand the attitude of these people.”

Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi took a combative stance, announcing that if the Shiv Sena side did not return the cars for the intended use within seven days, a demonstration will be organised.

She said that the money allocated by the Center for a specific purpose was being utilised for private security, which amounted to nothing more than the misappropriation of public monies.