Somaiya cries arrest over meeting ‘Awhad victim’; police deny claim

Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.

Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

BJP leader’s movements followed ‘sensitive’ tweet: officers

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya on Wednesday claimed that he had been detained and then arrested by the Navghar police, a claim that the police have denied.

Mr. Somaiya posted a series of tweets through his official handle, saying that he had been detained when he set out of his Mulund residence to meet Anant Karmuse, the civil engineer from Thane who on Tuesday claimed to have been assaulted by Housing Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad.

“It’s pity that Mumbai Police has detained Me at my residential premises (NilamNagar Mulund) and stopped me from going to the residence of Anant Karmuse, whom Jitendra Awhad men has beaten yesterday, I am supposed to meet Anant Karmuse today at 11am today (sic),” Mr. Somaiya tweeted, later adding in a separate tweet that he had been arrested.

Several police officers whom The Hindu reached out to, including Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Pranaya Ashok, denied Mr. Somaiya’s claims. Officers with the Navghar police said he had only been restrained as his moving around would have violated the rules of the lockdown, and because they had reason to believe that he was going to take up communally sensitive issues.

“Mr. Somaiya had on Tuesday night tweeted about the supposed burial of 14 victims of the novel coronavirus in a cemetery in Marine Lines, which is a sensitive issue. It needs to be handled by the people concerned and there is no need for political parties to be involved, as it could lead to a law and order situation. Preventive steps had to be taken as Mr. Somaiya’s attempt to leave the house came less than a day after his tweet, which could not be ignored,” a senior officer with the Mumbai Police told The Hindu.

Later in the evening, Mr. Somaiya posted another tweet claiming, “Just now I am released from Mulund Police station. Praveen Darekar, Gopal Shetty and Myself going to Thane to meet Jitendra Awhad Victim Mr Anant Kurmuse, but Thane Police not allowing us to meet Anant kurmuse (sic).”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:34:57 PM |

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