Awhad tests negative, but 14 of his contacts found positive

Twenty-eight COVID-19 positive cases were reported from Thane, half of whom were people in close contact with Maharashtra’s Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad. The minister himself tested negative for the virus and has gone into self-quarantine mode for two weeks.

Thane Municipal Corporation officials said the 14 people included members of his personal staff, a local journalist, and five police personnel with the Thane Police commissionerate, who were assigned to him as bodyguards.

“It was brought to my notice that a policeman working with me had tested positive for coronavirus. As a result, I decided to get myself checked. The test result is negative,” Mr. Awhad said.

Despite the result, the minister said, he had decided to follow the protocol prescribed by experts. “I have decided to put myself in quarantine for 14 days. I have been going out and helping people in my constituency for the last three weeks. I am sad that I won’t be able to do this for the next 14 days.”

The policemen who tested positive have been moved to a hospital.

Mr. Awhad had recently landed in a controversy after a member of Shri Shivpratishthan, a right-wing organisation, alleged that the minister’s men beat him up at Mr. Awhad’s residence over an allegedly obscene Facebook post targeting the minister. While the minister has denied the charge, the Thane Police arrested five of his workers three days ago.

The complainant, Anant Karmuse, and his wife on Monday even held a meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari claiming that the Thane Police were harassing her by filing a complaint against her too in the case.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had demanded Mr. Awhad’s resignation over Mr. Karmuse’s complaint.

( With inputs from Gautam S. Mengle )

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 11:01:57 am |