Man `thrashed’ at minister’s bungalow: five arrested

Thane: The Thane police on Thursdayarrested five persons in connection with an alleged assault on a man at Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad’s bungalow here over an objectionable social media post.The alleged incident had taken place on the night of April 5. As per the complainant, some police personnel were also involved in `abducting’ him and taking him to the minister’s bungalow.

Thane police spokesperson Sukhada Narkar confirmed that five persons had been arrested.They were produced before a court and sent in police custody till April 13, she said, without giving more details.According to Anant Karmuse (40), a city-based civil engineer, some police personnel visited his house on Sunday night, telling him that he would have to go to police station, but instead took him to Awhad’s bungalow.

At the bungalow, he was beaten black and blue by some ten to fifteen men over a morphed picture of the minister he had shared on Facebook, he said, alleging that this happened in Awhad’s presence.Karmuse had earlier criticised Awhad on social media when the minister announced that he would not follow prime minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to light lamps on April 5.

Awhad, an NCP leader, claimed on Thursday that for the last five years he was getting threats of murder on social media, some persons had recced his house, and his family was being targeted by trolls.He also alleged that Karmuse was a member of the Shiv Pratishthan, a right-wing organisation.The BJP has demanded that Awhad be dropped from the state cabinet.

On Thursday state BJP legislators Sanjay Kelkar and Niranjan Davkhare submitted a memorandum to Thane police demanding that Awhad’s name be included in the First Information Report.They also demanded suspension of the two personnel of the city police who were allegedly involved in the crime.On the other hand, city NCP chief Anand Paranjape demanded that police take action against those who targeted Awhad on social media with threats and obscene posts.

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