Mumbai

Man ‘thrashed’ at Jitendra Awhad’s bungalow: five arrested

Jitendra Awhad

Jitendra Awhad  

Housing Minister fears threat to life, alleges intimidation by social media users

The Thane Police on Thursday arrested five people in connection with the alleged assault on a man at State Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad’s bungalow over an objectionable social media post. The alleged incident had occurred on the night of April 5. As per the complainant, some police personnel were also involved in ‘abducting’ him and taking him to the minister’s bungalow.

Thane Police spokesperson Sukhada Narkar said the five were produced before a court, and had been sent to police custody till April 13.

According to Anant Karmuse (40), a city-based civil engineer, some police personnel visited his house on Sunday night, telling him that he would have to go to the police station, but instead took him to Mr. Awhad’s bungalow.

At the bungalow, he was beaten black and blue by some 10-15 men over a morphed picture of the minister he had shared on Facebook, he said, alleging that this happened in Mr. Awhad’s presence. Mr. Karmuse had earlier criticised Mr. Awhad on social media when the minister announced that he would not follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to light lamps on April 5.

Mr. Awhad, an NCP leader, claimed on Thursday that for the last five years he had been getting threats of murder on social media, some people had recced his house, and his family was being targeted by trolls.

He also shared screenshots of posts by some social media users allegedly threatening to kill him. In one of the screenshots, Mr. Awhad shared on Twitter, a net user called for seeking the minister’s resignation after his supporters allegedly thrashed a man in Thane. The user allegedly implied to kill the minister if he did not resign.

In another screenshot, the same user was purportedly seen supporting underworld don Chhota Rajan. In one more screenshot, another user shared a picture of a gun threatening to bathe Mr. Awhad in his blood. The police will take action against the social media users concerned, Mr. Awhad said, adding he remained safe due to the blessings of his mother. He also alleged that Mr. Karmuse was a member of the Shiv Pratishthan, a right-wing organisation.

The BJP has demanded that Mr. Awhad be dropped from the State Cabinet. State BJP legislators Sanjay Kelkar and Niranjan Davkhare submitted a memorandum to the Thane Police demanding that Mr. Awhad’s name be included in the FIR.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:22:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/man-thrashed-at-jitendra-awhads-bungalow-five-arrested/article31305167.ece

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