BJP man, returning officer come to blows over processing of caste certs

Jun 22, 2012, 07:54 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

A high-voltage drama of sorts played out yesterday at the Collector's Office when local BJP leader Jayant Bhave and Returning Officer Avinash Hadgal came to blows over the matter of delay in issuing caste certificates to applicants by the Citizen Facilitation Centre

MiD DAY reported yesterday on how applicants were facing issues and being forced to visit the centre repeatedly to collect documents required to get admission in various educational institutions.

Anger management: The police control the crowd that gathered at the Collector’s Office after local BJP leader Jayant Bhave and Returning Officer Avinash Hadgal got into a tussle yesterday over the delay applicants face in obtaining caste certificates at the Citizen Facilitation Centre 

Following the altercation, Resident Collector Anil Pawar decided that work would continue between 10 am and 6 pm today at the centre, but staff would wear black ribbons to condemn the incident. Bhave visited the CFC yesterday along with his friend Sanjay Purkar, who applied for the caste certificate in E-Mahakendra around a month ago, but is yet to be issued the certificate.

“When I reached there, I saw a huge crowd of people, who were annoyed with the lengthy procedures at the centre,” Bhave said.  He added that Hadgal entered the centre at that point and attempted to have him removed from the premises. “When I refused to go, he started beating me,” Bhave said. Hadgal had a different version to tell his seniors and said, “There was a large crowd in the centre and we had deployed women employees to manage them. The employees complained that they were unable to handle the crowd.”

Hadgal added that he reached the spot and tried to pacify the crowd. “I also requested Bhave to maintain discipline, but he manhandled me and provoked the people present to make the situation worse,” Hadgal said. When the local BJP unit heard of the incident, party workers rushed along with BJP city president Vikas Mathkari to the spot and accompanied Bhave to Bund Garden police station.

The group then went to Pawar’s office, where Hadgal was also present. Mathkari requested Hadgal and Bhave to sort out the issue amicably, but the returning officer filed a complaint against the local leader at the Bund Garden police station.

Mathkari said, “I know Bhave since the past 25 years and can’t believe that he can indulge in such activities. I am sure even Hadgal can’t be involved in such disputes.” Mathkari reportedly apologised for the entire incident, but pointed out that every day he receives complaints about the centre for questionable working procedures.  

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