Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday announced that Rs 30 crore will be made available for immediate installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad area. Pawar made the announcement after his meeting with senior police officials in the city.
The CCTV cameras at two blast sites were found to be non-functional, which was seen as a major loss to the investigation process in the serial blasts that took place on the busy J M Road on Wednesday.
“I was informed that there was a need of Rs 27 crore for installation of CCTV cameras at major chowks and other strategic locations in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Also, an additional expenditure of Rs 2-3 crore will have to be made for establishment of a state-of-the-art control room for monitoring the footage from these cameras. We have decided to work on this immediately,” said Pawar, who is also the guardian minister of Pune district.
He said the installation will be completed within a month and the expenditure would be shared by the state government, civic bodies of the two cities and the elected representatives from the two cities.
“Rs 10 crore will be provided by the state government, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will furnish Rs 7.5 crore, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municpal Corporation (PCMC) will chip in another Rs 2.5 crore. The rest will be provided by the MLAs and MPs who represent the areas,” said Pawar.
Dy CM defends Patil, chides Pol
Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar on Sunday defended Home Minister R R Patil who was at the receiving end after the blasts. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had castigated Patil for “inept handling” of the law and order situation in the state. “He (Sharad Pawar) is the supreme leader of the party and has the habit of pointing out flaws in his juniors. He might have critisised the home ministry but that doesn’t mean that the portfolio should be taken away from the minister,” said Ajit Pawar.
Without taking his name, Ajit Pawar chided Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol over his remarks that the blasts were an act of mischief. “Senior police officials should not make such statements without obtaining full information,” said Ajit Pawar.
Police trying to figure out group behind blasts
Over 100 hours after the four low intensity blasts rocked the city, the teams of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Pune police crime branch are trying to ascertain which terrorist outfit or group was behind the act.
Sources with Pune police and ATS said they had sought expert opinion on the type of explosives and structure of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) used at the spots and the report from the regional forensic laboratory was awaited. “We have formed various teams that are ascertaining who was behind the act. The teams have been asked to trace similarities between the latest incident in Pune and those in other cities in the past.”
Meanwhile, Dayanand Patil (33) of Uruli Kanchan, who was injured as the plastic bag that he was carrying exploded, is still undergoing treatment at Sassoon hospital. Ajay Chandanwale, dean of Sassoon General Hospital refused to comment on his condition. On Friday, the police had said that they recorded his version and he was consistent in his statements.
Sources from Sassoon hospital, however, said Patil was not being released based on the instructions from Pune police.
Asked whether his role was still being investigated, joint commissioner of police Sanjivkumar Singhal said, “At this stage, it would be improper to comment on this.”