Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray's driver threatens family of missing girl who accused DIG of molestation
Constable Dinkar Salve, who joined as Thackeray's driver recently, admits he worked with DIG Nishikant More; CMO asks the police to probe the incident
As the family of the 17-year-old girl allegedly molested by Maharashtra police DIG Nishikant More waited for court proceedings in the officer's anticipatory bail hearing to begin on Tuesday, a man claiming to be Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's driver apparently warned them, on the court premises, 'to remain quiet'.
According to the girl's father, the incident occurred minutes before the hearing was to start at the Panvel sessions court.
"A man dressed in white glared at me, came close and said, 'I am Uddhav Thackeray, the chief minister's driver, thoda shaant rehne ka'," said the girl's father. The family has submitted a written complaint at Taloja police station saying they were threatened by a man.
Dinkar Salve was captured on video by the girl's family at Panvel sessions court
After the encounter, the family recorded the video of the man, who has been identified as Constable Dinkar Salve, attached with Mumbai police's Motor Transport Unit. He was given the charge of chief minister's driver 15 days before Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in.
When contacted, Salve said that he has known More since he was an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) of Nagpada Motor Transport Unit. "I was in court for some registration and to meet my lawyer. I don't know anything about the family or why they are naming me. I have been with the force for 22 years and associated with the Thackeray family for a very long time. I was a part of Balasaheb Thackeray's security for around seven years. I have been CM Uddhav Thackeray's driver since 15 days before his swearing-in ceremony. I drove him during the event," the driver said.
"I have known More for the past 15 years. I worked under him when he was an ACP with the Nagpada Motor Transport Unit," Salve added.
The Nagpada Motor Transport Unit confirmed that Salve is attached to the unit and is the CM's driver. "Salve was on leave from January 3 to 7. He was supposed to report to work on Wednesday, but he didn't," said assistant sub-inspector Bajrang Jadhav of the VIP car section of the Motor Transport Unit. mid-day reached out to the Chief Minister's office, which confirmed that strong cognisance has been taken of the incident and police have been asked to probe the matter.
On the other hand, Joint Commissioner (Admin) of Mumbai Police, Naval Bajaj, said, "We will look into the matter and take appropriate action." Whereas, sources in the Shiv Sena said, "He was designated as Uddhav ji's driver recently. He is not a family driver. Concerned officials have been asked to enquire."
On Tuesday, Navi Mumbai police submitted before the court that accused More is an influential person and he may tamper with the evidence and witnesses. Police also informed the court about the girl being missing since Monday and having left a suicide note that blamed More, who moved a fresh application to change his lawyer in court on Tuesday, after which the hearing was adjourned till Friday. He has not got relief from arrest yet.
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