In light of NCP leader Jitendra Awhad’s claim that “fake” cases were being registered against him, senior party leader Ajit Pawar on Monday said the case against party MLA had been registered in a wrong manner and it needs to be withdrawn.
The police in Thane district have registered a case against Awhad under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code following a complaint by a woman.
The complainant alleged that the NCP leader had pushed her while making way for himself during the dispersal of a crowd after an event of the chief minister in Mumbra on Sunday evening, as per the First Information Report (FIR).
Speaking to the reporters here, Pawar said, ”I insist that the way this case (against Awhad) has been registered in the wrong manner, it should be withdrawn.” ”Awhad tweeted that he would resign, as he was fed up of the misuse of police after two offences were registered against him. First of all, I would like to appeal to Awhad not to take such a step,” the NCP leader said.
Expressing his displeasure about the recent incidents involving Awhad, Pawar said when the screening of Marathi film ‘Har Har Mahadev’ was disrupted, the person who was beaten up himself informed that Awhad had protected him. But a case was registered against the NCP leader and he was kept in a police station overnight.
”In the second incident, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was there at the programme and Awhad was also present at the event. He is seen in the video asking people to move aside (to make way) and was also seen trying to make the woman step aside. Nothing else happened. Despite the fact that Shinde was standing just 10 meters away from the spot, this kind of offence was registered,” Pawar said.
The chief minister should come forward and explain that nothing of this sort had happened there. Irrespective of how he became the chief minister, Shinde represents 13 crore people of the state, he said. ”Since the formation of the state, we have seen a particular political culture in Maharashtra. However of late, some distasteful incidents are taking place in the state,” Pawar said.
The NCP further said that political and ideological differences of opinion can be there, but if such incidents keep taking place, it would not be good for the state.
”Several people are of the opinion that there was no need to invoke such a section (against Awhad), but this is an attempt to put a people’s representative in trouble and it is an act of cowardice,” he said, adding that such things were being highlighted to divert people’s attention from the real issues.
If anyone’s conduct is against the law, action should be taken, but without any reason, the image of public representatives should not be tarnished, Pawar said.
Earlier Awhad, the MLA from Mumbra-Kalwa seat in Thane, was arrested on Friday after he and his supporters stopped a show of ”Har Har Mahadev” at a multiplex inside a mall in Thane city, alleging the film distorted the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
He was granted bail by a court on Saturday in that case.