A constable from Ahmednagar district police, who was deployed for the security of former revenue minister and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat, has been suspended after he sent a “defamatory post on Prime Minister Narendra Modi” on a WhatsApp group.
Police, however, said they had received complaints against him in the past too for “showing political inclination and favouring political persons”. The constable, identified as Ramesh Shinde, was suspended by Ahmednagar district Superintendent of Police (SP) Ranjankumar Sharma on Saturday.
An officer from Ahmednagar police said, “Shinde is currently deployed for the security of Balasaheb Thorat, who is an MLA from Sangamner. Shinde is member of a WhatsApp group, which includes people from the town. Over 10 days ago, he sent a satirical message, which implied that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a liar. Some people filed a complaint against him with the police station and also wrote to the superintendent of police and the
Prime Minister’s Office. He has been suspended by the SP now.” Asked why Shinde had been suspended, Sharma said, “He has not been suspended just for the message. In the past, too, complaints were received against him for favouring certain political party person and showing political inclination. The WhatsApp message he posted is one of the reasons why he has been suspended.” Asked what exactly did he mean by showing political inclination, Sharma said, “I won’t be able to give all the details. But the past complaints and WhatsApp message are the reasons he has been suspended.”
However, according to sources close to constable Shinde, the post was not shared by him but his nephew. “He uses two SIM cards — while one is provided by the police department, the other is his private number. The SIM card provided by the police department does not have Internet connection.
In the last week of September, the constable had left his phone with his private number at home. His nephew shared a picture received by a constable friend of Vaidu community (to which Shinde belongs too) on a WhatsApp group. The post was not shared by the constable who was way on duty,” said a source.
The source added that one of the members of the WhatsApp group complained to the police authorities about it. “The complainant had previous enmity with the constable’s family over other issues in the village. In order to take revenge, a complaint about the WhatsApp group was filed against the constable,” the source added, stating that the constable was yet to receive the suspension order.