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Rohit Pawar tried to shield accused in casteist video case: BJP MLA

Updated on: 01 March,2024 07:13 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Former claims man merely shared YouTube video; Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai says detailed inquiry to be held

Rohit Pawar tried to shield accused in casteist video case: BJP MLA

State Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai and NCP MLA Rohit Pawar at Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The state government approved an inquiry into NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) MLA Rohit Pawar’s alleged backing of an accused in a case of casteism. The legislator was recently grilled by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the MSC Bank scam. During an Assembly session on Thursday, BJP MLA Ram Kadam made an allegation against the MLA, saying he tried to support an accused in a police case against a viral video “spreading casteism”. The presiding officer of the Assembly instructed the state government to order an inquiry and take action accordingly and Shambhuraj Desai, state excise minister, replied that a detailed inquiry would be conducted into the matter.

How it unfolded

During a discussion over a budget, Kadam raised the issue through a point of order. He said that a complaint had been filed in Santacruz police station on February 27 about a viral video that spread hate between the Brahmin and Maratha communities. “It is a big conspiracy and an attempt to spread casteism in the state,” he claimed.

Kadam further alleged that Pawar called the police to rescue the accused, Yogesh Sawant. Kadam said that Sawant admitted that he is a member of the Sharad Pawar faction of the NCP and he resides in Baramati. “The video has an objectionable remark against Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said Kadam.

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After the allegation was made, Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar said that no one supported such videos and appropriate action should be taken based on an inquiry. MLA Ashish Shelar then called for a probe to determine who was behind Yogesh Sawant. The presiding officer of the Assembly then ordered that a thorough investigation should be conducted into the matter. In the absence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and both his deputies, Desai replied that the state government would carry out the same. 

Pawar Speak

While speaking to the media, Pawar said that the police had caught Sawant and recorded his statement. “He was sent to a police station for a day and taken to the court on Thursday.  I am going to meet him. The BJP should not do drama. He is a worker. What did he do wrong?  A YouTube channel conducted an interview with a social worker, and he posted the video on his social media account. The state government is not acting against that channel. It is doing nothing about the interviewee, but it is acting against workers.”

Feb 27
Day complaint was filed

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