The Mumbai Police has started an inquiry into the allegations levelled by a man that he was taken to police station along with two others at the behest of a “BJP leader” who reportedly claimed that the three had insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The police decided to probe the matter after a late Friday night social media post by the man, software professional Dinesh Chanchalani, about the “ordeal” went viral Saturday.
While Mumbai BJP called it a mischief, the police said they were trying to find out the version of events.
Chanchalani did not name the “BJP leader” in his post.
The Facebook message posted at 11.36 pm Friday said the trouble began at 8.30 pm when 20 men, including Chanchalani, were playing football at Shivaji Park and the “BJP leader” walked into the play area. Chanchalani said the leader was hit accidentally, adding the players had immediately apologised to him.
However, the post added, when Chanchalani pointed out to the leader that he could have walked from outside the play area, the latter allegedly claimed that he was a “powerful politician”, and threatened to make his life “miserable”.
Chanchalani wrote that the man then made a phone call and walked away, while the players continued their game. “However, within 15 minutes, about 25-30 khakhi policemen descended upon the area at Shivaji Park where we were playing. This chap (the BJP man) was leading them. From a distance, I saw him pointing the policemen towards me, telling him, ‘isko arrest karo’,” read the post.
Chanchalani wrote that he protested and told the police that he hadn’t hit the ball.
“So the guy conjures up this, ‘Isne Narendra Modi ko gaali di’. I was like, WHAT! So, 3 of us are taken to Shivaji Park Police Station,” read the post.
Chanchalani went on to add in his post that the “BJP leader” told the police to detain him at the police station for the whole night and that he would inform Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis if he was let off.
The post said Chanchalani and his friends were allowed to go after an hour and a half. “Those 1.5 hours are a saga of absolute dadagiri and a peek into how our police and law and order machinery works. This man kept ordering the policemen to do things, he kept yelling and raising his voice, and they all meekly just listened quietly to what he kept ordering (even though, to their credit, they did not comply with his ‘orders’),” he wrote.
However, Chanchalani later updated his post to add that an official from Mumbai BJP had contacted him to extend support and that he was thankful to the party. Several individuals tweeted about Chanchalani’s post Saturday afternoon, tagging the Mumbai Police’s Twitter handle.
“We are inquiring into the incident to find out what happened. And we will find out the version of events,” said Paramajit Singh Dahiya, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone V.
The BJP, however, said the post appeared to be mischievous. “The person has not named who this BJP leader is. Also, it is not possible for 25-30 policemen to descend just like that,” said Mumbai BJP spokesperson Vivekanand Gupta.