Days after a BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh assaulted an official with a cricket bat, the Congress MLA from Maharashtra's Kankavali on Thursday tied a Public Works Department (PWD) deputy engineer to a bridge and poured mud over him, claiming the official was neglecting the potholes on roads and sufferings of commuters.
Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, son of Narayan Rane, BJP's Rajya Sabha member and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and some others tied Prakash Shedekar to the bridge over the Gadnadi river on the Mumbai - Goa highway and poured buckets of mud over him. The incident happened in the Kankavli constituency.
In a video, he is seen being tied to the bridge and asked questions over “not performing his duty of constructing good roads.”' “The roads are full of mud and people daily travel on them riddled with potholes. You should also suffer,” Mr. Rane is heard saying in the video.
Talking to reporters later, Mr. Rane said, “Now I will myself monitor the repair work of this highway. I will be here every day at 7a.m. and see how the system wins. We have methods to tackle their arrogance.”
The senior Rane, who is in Delhi to attend the Budget session of Parliament session, said, “I can understand the anger and agitation over potholes on the road. But I will not support the violence."
Dikshit Gedam, Sindhudurg district Superintendent of Police said that Mr. Nitish Rane has been taken into custody.
On a complaint filed by the engineer, the MLA and his supporters were booked under IPC sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 342 (wrongful confinement and 120-b (criminal conspiracy). A section of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act was also slapped on them.
Mr. Nitesh Rane's arch-rival and Shiv Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar, who is also Maharashtra’s Minister of State (Home), said, “This is nothing but a publicity stunt to claim he is working for people. Works for larger public good can be done only by taking officials in to confidence. Such hooliganism and beating make officers fear from coming to work in Sindhudurg district. This increase people’s hardships,” he said.