Mumbai: New Delhi: Maharashtra minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chandrakant Patil on Sunday said the ink was thrown on him as part of a planned attack. He further claimed that his statement on social reformers Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Phule was “distorted” by some people.
The incident occurred at Pimpri Chichwad on Saturday in an apparent protest against Patil’s statement where he said, Ambedkar and Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions.
The use of the word “begged” by Patil, who is the state’s minister for higher and technical education, stirred a controversy that led to the ink attack. The Pimpri Chinchwad police on Sunday evening said three persons had been arrested for the incident, with commissioner Ankush Shinde saying the role of a television journalist was being probed.
“The journalist was summoned to the police station and allowed to go home late Sunday night. He will be summoned again for further inquiry on Monday,” news agency PTI quoted Shinde as saying. He said 10 police personnel, including three officers, have been placed under suspension for the incident.
A case has been registered against the three in Chinchwad police station under Indian Penal Code sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The BJP held protests in some places during the day seeking strict action in the case. Talking to reporters on Sunday, Patil said a journalist had planned the attack on him with protestors, adding he had sought an inquiry into the matter. “Some people distorted my statement and attacked me in a cowardly manner. This was a planned attack. I will submit evidence to the district collector,” Patil said.
He also said he had requested the chief minister (Eknath Shinde) and deputy CM (Devendra Fadnavis) not to suspend the police personnel who were on duty with him at the time of the incident. Amid the controversy, Patil defended himself saying that he strived hard to get Marathwada University renamed after Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Denouncing the incident, Patil asked if anybody from the group that threw ink on him had even studied the works of Ambedkar, Patil slammed Nationalist Congress Party leaders Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal.
“Why is Ajit Pawar quiet today? Bhujbal has said this (ink throwing) is a natural reaction. In that case, ink should be hurled at him as well. I have read Babasaheb (works). Ask (Karjat Jamkhed NCP MLA) Rohit Pawar to read the works of Babasaheb and then come to counter me,” Patil said as quoted by PTI.
He said police must be allowed to do their work in connection with the probe into the incident and asked people not to create law and order issues. Meanwhile, a police official said two of the arrested persons were from the Samata Sainik Dal and one was a member of the Vanchit Bhaujan Aghadi.