Action against Shitole only on conviction: NCP

Senior NCP leaders say handicapped Pimpri-Chinchwad corporator incapable of murder, disciplinary action will be taken only if he is found guilty by court

Even as NCP corporator Prashant Shitole of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) surrendered before the police yesterday for the alleged murder of party worker Tushar Dhore, the party said disciplinary action would be taken against him only if he was convicted in the case. Dhore's murder took place during a Navratri procession when members of Shitole group got into an altercation with the Dhore group in which the latter was killed.

Innocent till proven guilty: Pimpri-Chinchwad corporator Prashant
Shitole, who surrendered before the police yesterday. An NCP worker,
Tushar Dhore, was mudered during a Navratri procession when members
of Shitole's and Dhore's groups clashed. 
 Pic /Navnath Kaple

Shitole had been on the run since the incident took place. Senior NCP leader Ankush Kakde said the party would not take action against Shitole unless he was convicted of murder. He said there was a political conspiracy behind the murder of Dhore. "Shitole had a clean image and I feel he has become the victim of a political conspiracy. He is physically handicapped and I don't think he would be capable of involving himself in fights or the alleged murder," Kakde said.

Kakde, however, refused to clarify his claims about political conspiracy. Kakde said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had also indicated that action would be taken only if Shitole was convicted of murder. Vandana Chavan, an important female face in the party, said the party would not tolerate any criminal activities. "Although I met Shitole very rarely, I am aware of the rivalry between the Dhore and Shitole group.

The party has always refrained from engaging workers with criminal backgrounds," said Chavan. "Deputy CM Pawar has also given us strict instructions on not to shield party workers who engage in anti-social activities. It may be possible that if the charges against him are proved, then the party will not give him a ticket for the upcoming civic polls."

Chavan, however, agreed with Kakade about a possible political conspiracy and said decision would be taken on Shitole if he was convicted for the offence. 

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