An FIR has been lodged at Vartak Nagar police station against Maharashtra cabinet minister Jitendra Awhad by a resident of Thane, alleging that two police constables and goons allegedly associated with Maharashtra minister and NCP strongman Jitendra Awhad had badly assaulted him. As per the complaint filed, the young man had opposed NCP leader Jitendra Awhad’s call to boycott PM Modi’s request to light a lamp for 9 minutes at 9 PM on April 5.
Fascism techniques being used in Maharashtra to suppress the voice of common people on SM platforms are really worrying. MLA @niranjandtweets thanks for taking it up with @CMOMaharashtra @OfficeofUT. Will the CM show spine to take it up against @NCPspeaks minister @Awhadspeaks https://t.co/LVqfoR9qVI pic.twitter.com/xdfs2mIltN— Pratik Karpe (@CAPratikKarpe) April 7, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested the citizens of the country to light a lamp at 9 PM for 9 minutes on April 5 as a mark of support and solidarity for those carrying out the fight against the menace of coronavirus in the country. However, following PM Modi’s call to galvanise people into expressing their gratitude towards the doctors, healthcare workers and doctors battling coronavirus, some opposition leader expressed their protests against his call. Maharashtra cabinet minister Jitendra Awhad also criticized PM Modi’s initiative on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and asked people to boycott PM Modi’s request. Following his reaction, the victim posted an offensive post on social media opposing Awhad’s call to boycott PM Modi’s request.
As per the FIR, around 11.50 pm on April 5, two policemen came to his house. The policemen asked him to come to the police station. The victim was not informed of why he was being taken to the police station. Why the victim’s wife enquired why is her husband being taken to the police station, the policemen responded that it is general interrogation and they would return him within 10 minutes.
Thereafter, the policemen took the victim in their white Scorpio to NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad’s Nath Bungalow situated near Viviana Mall. He was frisked and the policemen had taken away his mobile phone.
The victim claims that Jitendra Awhad was present at his bungalow and a posse of 15-20 goons was already there to beat him up. He was then mercilessly assaulted by the goons under the watch of Awhad until their wooden sticks broke off, the victim has alleged in the FIR.
After that, Awhad approached the badly injured victim and questioned him why did he make the offensive post. The young man then apologised to Awhad and said that out of enthusiasm, he uploaded the post. Awhad then called up the young man’s house and asked his wife to remove the contentious post.
However, the young man was still not released even after apologising. He was beaten again and a video of him admitting that he had made the post by mistake and is apologetic about it was recorded. The policemen later took him to the hospital for treatment, the complaint alleges.
After being treated at the hospital, the young man went to the Vartak Nagar police station where the police lodged a complaint against unknown assaulters. At the same time, a case has been booked against the victim under the IT act.
However, NCP leader and Maharashtra cabinet minister Jitendra Awhad defended himself by posting a tweet sharing the offensive post uploaded by the victim and asking a Twitter user if would tolerate such things done to him or one of his family members. In fact, he posted the same offensive image, which was morphed to depict Ahwad setting his buttocks on fire, and asked if such offensive images are to be tolerated.
However, Twitter users were unsparing in criticising Awhad for his manifestly lawless behaviour. One Twitter user shared the badly bruised image of the victim asking if this is not lawlessness then what is.
If this is not the lawlessness then what it is please answer to the residents of Maharashtra….. pic.twitter.com/KxP21bP2Fx— Netizen (@the_righty) April 7, 2020
Another Twitter user mocked Awhad by sharing the same offensive picture with an insightful remark that what is depicted in the picture is scientifically impossible.
This is not scientifically possible… pic.twitter.com/yEuelQ2UTU— ankit (@AnkitKumarAman1) April 7, 2020
It is notable here that PM Modi’s call to the Indian citizens to switch off all lights at their homes on 9 pm on Sunday, 5th April, for 9 minutes and light a candle or diya to show solidarity against the pandemic had received widespread support across India.