A Congress councillor from Puna ward in Surat allegedly beat up a youth on Thursday for a Facebook post allegedly targeting him. The youth, who runs an icecream parlour, suffered a fracture in his right hand.
Ankit Padsara, a resident of Divya Shakti Society in Punagam area in Surat, had on February 19 written a post in Gujarati that said, “Je Baio nathi sachvi Shakta, te vidhansabha kevi rite sachvi shakshe (Those who can’t take care of their wives , how can they take care of the Assembly (constituency). The post had been liked by friends of Padsara. Nilesh Kumbhani, the councillor of ward number 15, allegedly had a dispute with his wife a few days ago, and it had been settled through mutual understanding.
Kumbhani, who saw Padsara’s post, believed he was the target. He also had disagreements with another Congress municipal councillor Ashok Jirawala, from ward number 3 Varachha Sarthana, who he believed had made Padsara put up the Facebook post. Kumbhani then allegedly got a friend to phone Padsara and asked him to come to Sardar Patel farm at Sarthana area on Wednesday night. Once he got there, Kumbhani and his friends allegedly attacked Padsara and attempted to get him to confess that he had posted the remarks on the direction of Jirawala. They allegedly kicked him and beat him up with their fists. Kumbhani also allegedly snatched
Padsara’s mobile phone, opened his Facebook account and deleted the post, after which they let the injured Padsara go. After taking treatment at a hospital, Padsara went to Sarthana police station and lodged a complaint against Kumbhani and his friends, whom he identified as Dharmesh Khichadiya, Bhavtik Koladiya, Ashok Godani, and Nitin Jiyani, all residents of Punagam.
Kumbhani and Jirawala have been at loggerheads with each other since the 2017 Assembly polls. The Congress had first announced Kumbhani’s name as its candidate from Karanj Assembly seat in Surat but later gave the ticket to Jirawala. However, Jirawala lost the Assembly election.
Sarthana police inspector N D Chaudhary said the police had registered a case against Kumbhani and others on the basis of Padsara’s complaint. “We will arrest the accused soon. We have sent our teams to arrest Nilesh Kumbhani and others,” he said.