Pune: Abhay Dadhe, former president of the governing body of Shikshan Prasarak Mandali, which runs scores of educational institutes in the state, has been arrested after several blank ballot papers related to the election process of the organisation were allegedly found from his possession, police said on Wednesday.
Dadhe along with three other members were arrested late Tuesday night in this connection, hours before the elections for the governing body of the 125-year-old organisation were scheduled to be held, they said.
A case of forgery and cheating has been registered against eight former office-bearers, including Dadhe. Last November, SPM's governing body was dissolved by State Charity Commissioner Office after allegations of financial irregularities were levelled against it. The authorities had then sought polls to elect a new body.
SP Mandali runs education institutes such as Sir Parshurambhau College in Pune, Ramnarain Ruia College and L N Welingkar Institute of Management in Mumbai. A panel which is contesting against Dadhe's group tipped the police and the election committee on Tuesday of blank ballot papers being kept at the office of former chairman, police said.
"Upon which senior police officials and election committee members swooped on the office to take stock of the situation and found hundreds of blank ballot papers kept in the cupboard of Dadhe," they said.
"We then arrested Dadhe and other three former members under IPC sections 420, 468 and 471," a police official said. The poll process for new management body started in Pune, Mumbai, and Solapur today in which over 4,000 voters are expected to cast their votes.
The results will be out on Thursday.