A son in attendance at his father’s political coronation ceremony is not uncommon and may in fact be considered praiseworthy. But, it’s certain to create a stir if the politician in question is Pappu Kalani, and the person making an appearance is his son Omie, an accused in an attempt to murder and a cheating case. Omie is believed to be absconding. But, on Friday, we spotted him by the side of his father in a function organised to announce Pappu Kalani’s association with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Omie not only attended the function at Hira Marriage Hall, Ulhasnagar Camp Number II, but he was even greeted by his father’s well-wishers. Apart from his father, Omie also shared the dais with NCP state secretary Pramod Hindurao and party corporator Raju Jagiasi.
“Police are unable to take any action against Omie since the state home ministry is with NCP. Pappu Kalani is also in the good books of party higher-ups,” said Mahesh Sukhramani, BJP corporator, whose nephew was allegedly beaten up with iron rods by Omie and 15 of his associates in November 2011. While cops arrested his aides, Omie managed to flee. After that he went underground for more than six months. He made his first appearance on Friday, amidst police bandobast.
Sukhramani added, “Cops have told me that they are under pressure from officials in the home department and that they could not do much in the case.” At the function, Kalani’s wife Jyoti was also appointed president of Ulhasnagar NCP for a second term. Confirming that Omie is absconding in a case of attempt to murder registered at their police station, Siddharth Wagh, senior police inspector from Ulhasnagar, said, “The case was first investigated by crime branch and now it has been transferred to the state CID.”
A cop from Crime Branch, unit III in Ulhasnagar, said, “ We were not aware that he was expected at the function. If we had known about his visit, we could have arrested him. We were looking for him even at the time of elections as we came to know that he was threatening rival candidates.”
NCP general secretary and group leader in Ulhasnagar Mahanagarpalika Manoj Lassi said, “Omie was framed in the matter. The case was politically motivated to defame the Kalanis during elections.”
“Omie is wanted in a cheating case at Manpada. We have also alerted all police stations in Ulhasnagar,” said senior police inspector Jayant Pandhire of Manpada from Dahisar.
The other side
Pappu Kalani said, “The attempt-to-murder case has been transferred to CID by the police commissioner while the second case is pertaining to property dispute. In that matter we have applied for bail.”