'He wasn't drunk': Transport min defends son over altercation with cop

Aug 13, 2015, 06:56 IST | A Correspondent

Following allegations that his son, Unmesh, had got into an argument with a constable after being pulled up for intending to drive in a drunken state, Diwakar Raote denied that his son was drunk

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, who had hauled up two female constables for riding a bike without helmets last month, found himself in a spot yesterday after his son allegedly got into an argument with a policeman in a drunken state.

Diwakar Raote had, last month, hauled up two constables for driving without a helmet
Diwakar Raote had, last month, hauled up two constables for driving without a helmet

Addressing a press conference yesterday, the transport minister admitted that there had been an argument, but denied the charge that his son, Unmesh, was drunk.

He said Unmesh had got angry because the traffic constable had asked him, on seeing his surname on the driving licence, if he had any connection with Diwakar Raote, and he had not wanted his father’s name to be dragged in. Raote also said that he had asked the traffic police to impose a penalty on Unmesh.

Traffic police sources told mid-day that an allegedly drunk Unmesh Raote was in the driver’s seat of a car and intended to drive it, when he was approached by a traffic constable in the wee hours of Wednesday.

A senior officer posted with the traffic department said, “After the constable noticed that Raote’s son was seated in the driver’s seat, drunk, outside Hinduja hospital, he approached him. After this, Unmesh and the constable had an argument, which lasted nearly 15 minutes, and the latter got angry and told the constable that he was the son of a minister and threatened him with action.”

Cop speak
When contacted, the Mumbai Police Spokesperson, DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni, claimed that Unmesh was seated on the passenger seat and said, “We have charged Raote’s son under Sections 110 (Indecency in public) and 117 of the Bombay Police Act and he was allowed to go later.”

Minister speak
Transport minister Diwakar Raote admitted yesterday that his son, who was sitting in the passenger seat, did have a heated argument with traffic cops when he was asked to produce his driving licence. Raote, however, denied the charge that Unmesh, an IT professional, was drunk.

He said Unmesh lost his cool when the policeman, after seeing his licence, asked him whether he was related to Diwakar Raote. “My son asked the policeman why was his father being brought into the picture and asked him to do his job. He wasn’t drunk and did not try to influence the cop,” the minister told a media conference at his Mantralaya office last evening.

Raote blamed the entire controversy on the other motorists who were being stopped for drink driving at the same spot. “These people assumed that my son was pulling strings to escape police action and circulated messages on social media in this regard.”

The minister said he had a talk with Unmesh, who stays independently, and asked him to explain the episode. “My son did have a heated argument with cops and hence I asked the police to impose a penalty on him. Actually, I felt bad about my son’s behaviour and wanted him to face the penalty.”

The section, which deals with public indecency, of the Bombay Police Act under which Unmesh was charged. The same section was applied in the case of couples who were rounded up from hotels last week

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