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Remarks on BMC mayor: Ashish Shelar arrested, released as BJP leaders protest outside police station

BJP MLA Ashish Shelar along with 40-50 people from the BJP, including Leader of Opposition Praveen Darekar, MLC Prasad Lad, MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar, went to the Marine Drive police station, where the FIR was registered against him.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 9, 2021 11:08:59 pm
women's commission mumbai ashish shelar bmc mayor remarkBJP leader Ashish Shelar. (File Photo)

Police on Thursday arrested BJP MLA Ashish Shelar and granted him bail in connection with an FIR against him for allegedly outraging the modesty of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Kishori Pednekar during a press conference on November 30.

The charges under which he was booked were bailable.

Shelar along with 40-50 people from the BJP, including Leader of Opposition Praveen Darekar, MLC Prasad Lad, MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar, went to the Marine Drive police station, where the FIR was registered against him.

A senior officer said that since Shelar was booked under a bailable section, he was immediately granted bail after being placed under arrest. The officer added that a vital aspect of the probe will be to ascertain the context in which the words were used by Shelar.

“We cannot look at the words in isolation and will be seeking legal opinion on whether the things said by Shelar outraged the modesty of Pednekar,” the officer said.

Interacting with mediapersons last week, Shelar had slammed the mayor for her alleged delayed response in reaching out to the victims of the cylinder blast in Worli. He had asked if Pednekar had been sleeping for 72 hours. His mention of the word “sleeping” had evoked sharp reactions from ruling parties.

Pednekar on Wednesday approached the Marine Drive police station with a complaint, following which an FIR was registered under IPC sections 354A (1) (iv) (making sexually coloured remarks, shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment) and 509 (insult the modesty of a woman).

Outside the police station, BJP leaders Shelar, Darekar and Lad criticised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and called the action political vendetta. Talking to the media, Shelar said, “For the last two years, people have been witnessing the abuse of power and police force by the egoistic Thackeray government against those who have been trying to expose the government’s corrupt practices. I will competently take my case in a court of law. It is a misinterpretation of the statement which I never made.”

Shelar further asked if ‘false cases’ were registered against him for raising the issue of OBC reservation, questioning the BMC administration for ‘negligence’ resulting in the death of the infant in the Worli cylinder blast case, exposing corruption in the coastal road project among others things.

BJP leaders, who had gathered outside the Marine Drive police station in support of Shelar, said that they had given a complaint against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for using abusive words against the BJP. “Raut, in one of his tweets, used very vulgar, filthy words about the BJP and especially about the BJP women, which I cannot utter because I am a man who follows the culture of Maharashtra. Raut used such words not once but twice, and therefore, BJP workers have lodged a complaint and we demand that an FIR be lodged. We will also lodge a complaint against Raut with the State Commission for Women,” said BJP leader Atul Bhatkhalkar.

Raut had allegedly used abusive words while responding to BJP leaders who had criticized him over a video in which he could be seen bringing a chair for NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

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