Mumbai: In a veiled attack at the Home Department which is headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena on Saturday said the job of police is "much more than just keeping political rivals and one's own people under surveillance".
"The job of police extends beyond surveillance of political rivals and one's own people (those within BJP)," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
BJP's bickering ally cited the case of policeman Vilas Shinde who died when he was assaulted while on duty.
"If such attacks on policemen continue, then police will have to be provided an armour instead of helmets," it added.
"The dent to the image of khaki uniform won't stop merely by according deceased policemen the status of martyrs. The moral of police force is down and political interference has increased," the editorial said.
"After seeing all this, one remembers late Balasaheb Desai's work as Home minister," the Sena said.
"In the last few years, the work of the Home Department is only recruitment and promotion of the chosen few," the party said.
Sena's attack comes against the backdrop of a demand by Leader of Opposition in State Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil that the state needs a full time Home Minister.
"Law and order is not an issue to be dealt weekly or fortnightly. Fadnavis is not able to spare time to deal with the Home issues. He should hand over the work to a full time minister for the sake of the state," he had said.
6,226 rapes, 17,234 molestation and 3,771 murder cases were registered between January, 2015 and June, 2016.
Fadnavis, who took reigns of the state in October 2014, is being dubbed by his opponents as a "failed Home Minister". Former CM and senior Congress leader Narayan Rane had also said Fadnavis has left the law and order situation at the police officers' mercy.
"Brutal crimes like the Kopardi gangrape and murder can't take place without political patronage. The CM is more interested in delivering speeches, inaugurating seminars and clearing files at the behest of his bosses in Delhi," he had said.