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Maharashtra politics: Kirit Somaiya's viral video raises temperatures in assembly

Updated on: 19 July,2023 07:04 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis announces police probe into matter; Somaiya says tapes doctored

Maharashtra politics: Kirit Somaiya's viral video raises temperatures in assembly

Shiv Sena (UBT) members protest against Kirit Somaiya, at Vile Parle East, on Tuesday. Pic/Aishwarya Deodhar

Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced a police investigation into the viral videos allegedly of BJP leader Kirit Somaiya in a “compromising position”, following uproar on the Day 2 of the monsoon session. The Opposition claimed that more such clips exist, and that it exposes the former MP’s character.
Somaiya has written to Fadnavis, who is also the deputy chief minister, stating that he has not victimised any woman as is being alleged. “Some people claim that there are many such clips of mine. I request you to verify the authenticity of the viral video clip. Many have claimed that I exploited many women. I have never done anything like that. I request you to probe all these allegations,” he wrote in the letter.

8 hours of footage

Leader of Opposition (Shiv Sena-UBT) Ambadas Danve, who took up the matter in the Legislative Council, said a woman had given him a pen drive containing eight hours of video footage of Somaiya. Legislative Council’s Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe, to whom he gave the pen drive, said she would ask women police officers to verify the footage.

Kirit Somaiya. File Pic/Atul Kamble
Kirit Somaiya. File Pic/Atul Kamble

Gorhe expressed concern about the woman in the video, which was telecast by a Marathi news channel and circulated on social media. She appealed to the channel to cooperate with the investigators to identify the woman so that she could get justice. Gorhe said the woman allegedly linked to the video has not lodged a complaint. She should trust the legislature and come forward to lodge the complaint, Gorhe said.

Questioning the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cover provided to Somaiya, Danve said, “This is the person who had threatened people with action by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Somaiya, who belongs to the party that talks of morality, has created a problem for women’s safety. This is shocking. I want to know if the BJP will protect the man whose activity had forced many to change parties and some people were even sent to jail because of him.”

Oppn demands truth

Danve’s Shiv Sena (UBT) colleague Anil Parab said he and many others were Somaiya’s victims. “Truth behind the tapes must come out. The female victims must be identified. This person has written to the home minister that he has not victimised any woman. He has not denied the video tapes, but asked for an inquiry. Does this mean the tapes are true? If so, then we must know where it happened and how it happened,” Parab said.

Members of the Shiv Sena (UBT) stage a protest against Kirit Somaiya, at Vile Parle East, on Tuesday. Pic/Aishwarya Deodhar
Members of the Shiv Sena (UBT) stage a protest against Kirit Somaiya, at Vile Parle East, on Tuesday. Pic/Aishwarya Deodhar

Parab asked Fadnavis to remove Somaiya’s CISF cover, alleging that it was used for extortion and threatening people. “Why does he need the CISF when you [Fadnavis] are the home minister?” he asked. In response, Fadnavis said the matter was serious and warranted the government’s attention. He promised an investigation by the police and asked the Opposition to submit evidence, if any, instead of voicing their assumptions in the house. “It is true that such tapes destroy careers and personal lives. It won’t be possible to identify the woman (women) in the tapes, but the police will definitely find them,” he added.

Special team working on it, say cops

The Mumbai police have launched a preliminary inquiry into the alleged ‘sex tape’ of Kirit Somaiya, based on a communication from the home ministry to verify the facts of the matter. They are yet to receive the official order.

Sources indicated that a dedicated team was trying to determine where and how the video was recorded. Cops have also spoken to Somaiya to gather initial details. “We will conduct a thorough inquiry into all aspects—whether the woman was sexually exploited or if the incidents occurred consensually. We will also probe if attempts were made to extort money or tarnish the politician’s image,” a senior officer said.

- Faizan Khan

8 hours
Length of footage on pen drive given to House

Inputs from agencies

Disclaimer: mid-day has not independently verified the video tapes. This report is purely based on the proceedings of the house

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