Embroiled in the suicide case of the 22-year-old TikTok celebrity Pooja Chavan, the former Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod was accorded a red carpet reception by his supporters during his visit to Pohardevi temple in Maharashtra’s Washim district.
Ahead of his visit to the temple, a video of people, presumably his supporters, laying the red carpet for receiving him was seen in a report broadcasted by ABP Majha. Rathod started at around 10:30 am in the morning from his residence in Yavatmal to the hallowed Pohardevi Temple in neighbouring district Washim.
Mahants at Pohardevi back embattled leader Sanjay Rathod
Meanwhile, the Pohardevi Peetha has directed Rathod to face the inquiries in the Pooja Chavan suicide case. The mahants of the Peetha have backed the embattled leader, with mahant Jitendra Maharaj of Pohardevi fort alleging that a conspiracy is being hatched to undermine a leader from a backward community.
“Whenever a Bahujan Samaj leader grows in the state, attempts are made to discredit and eliminate him. A plot is being hatched to tarnish Rathod’s image and implicate him in the suicide case. All of us mahants have expressed our grief over the death of Pooja Chavan. The matter should be thoroughly investigated so that the truth comes out. We have full faith in the judiciary. We will accept the result of the inquiry,” said Sunil Maharaj, one of the mahants at Pohardevi.
Sanjay Rathod’s alleged involvement in the Pooja Chavan suicide case
A 22-year-old TikTok star Pooja Chavan allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the Heaven Park building in Pune’s Wanawadi area on February 8. The Maharashtra police, probing the case, filed an accidental case and dismissed anything suspicious in the matter.
While the Maharashtra police were all set to write off the case, terming it an accidental death case, six days after the suicide of the young TikTok celebrity, Shiv Sena leader and Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod name surfaced in connection with the case.
Many audio clips allegedly linked to Pooja Chavan’s death, moreover, alluding to the involvement of the state minister, went viral on social media. In one of the viral audio clips, one person is heard making some suggestions to suppress a case. The person also issues instructions in Marathi translated as: “in any case, take possession of laptops and mobiles, this issue should not be escalated”. Moreover, some social media posts claimed that Pooja Chavan was in a relationship with the Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod.
Former Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod submits resignation after his name surfaces in Pooja Chavan suicide case
Sanjay Dulichand Rathod is a Shiv Sena politician from Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. He was appointed as Minister of Forest, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation in Uddhav Thackeray’s cabinet in 2019. In 2020, he was appointed as the Guardian Minister for Yavatmal district. His win in the 2014 election made him a four-time Shiv Sena MLA from Yavatmal. Sanjay Rathod is a famous leader of the Banjara community. Local reports suggest that the Shiv Sena cabinet minister had sent his resignation to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s office Tuesday.