Workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Tuesday “cau-ght” three employees, including a vice-principal of the Bharati Vidyap-eeth Deemed University’s (BVDU) College of Ayurved, for allegedly distributing money while campaigning for Vishwajeet Kadam, Congress candidate from Pune.
MNS workers thrashed the trio and handed them over to the police. Prakash Devidas Pawar of MNS lodged a complaint with the Samartha police station. Senior police inspector Dattatraya Patil of Samartha police station said, “We have lodged an offence under section 171(E) of the IPC. We have informed the Election Commission. Further investigation will be done as per the court’s direction. The complainant has stated that trio were campaigning for Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam,” he said.
The police identified the three suspects as Dr Surendra Martand Vedpathak, vice-principal of the College of Ayurved, Abhinandan Appasaheb Muke and Uday Chandrakant Patkar, both working with different branches of the university.
The police recovered cash of Rs 16,000 along with pamphlets of the Congress candidate, voters list and some other papers from them.
The complainant Pawar said, “We got information from a local resident that some Congress workers are giving money to lure voters. We rushed to the Poona Cafe near KEM hospital in Rasta Peth area. There was a group of about 15 persons.
While 12 of them ran away with bags carrying huge amount of cash, we did nab three persons. They possessed bag carrying cash, note books, voters list. They had marked certain names who we believe they had given money to.”
Advocate Sachin Pawar, Sandesh Kathawte and Shekhar Kale of MNS took these three persons to their party candidate
Deepak Paigude’s office in Rasta Peth. They also thrashed the trio.
“The university is run by the Kadam family. The trio admitted to campaigning for Vishwajeet Kadam and distributing money to lure voters. So we handed them over to the police,” said advocate Pawar.
Meanwhile, Paigude along with MNS workers reached the police station seeking action. MNS corporator Rupali Patil said, “They are Congress workers. Police should take action against their bosses.”
Additional Commissioner of Police Chandrashekar Daithankar said, “Based on the complaint, we have initiated action.” Meanwhile, election officers also came to the police station for investigation.
Vishwajeet Kadam, however, distanced himself from the persons allegedly nabbed for distribution of cash to voters. “I am not aware of the incident. But I had information about 10 days ago that MNS would threaten Congress workers. Police should probe the case,” he said.
Paigude said, “We have given names of 12 doctors of BVP to the cops. They ran away from the spot with huge cash. It is shame that Congress candidate is using well-qualified staffers for distributing cash to voters. We will not tolerate it. Our activists are keeping a watch across the city. If we find any more persons distributing cash, we will teach them a lesson in MNS style.”