“Mi Ajitdada boltoy (This is Ajitdada speaking).” said a voice reportedly indistinguishable from that of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. “Quickly settle the land dispute about the property near the poultry farm. I want to open an IT park in that area.” said the man to a teenager, during a phone call made earlier this month.
The call was made by the teen’s neighbour Pritesh Shinde, a 25-year-old tattoo artist, according to police. The tattoo artist has been arrested for the call, which he claims was nothing more than a prank.
A First Information Report in the case has been filed by Prashant Solaskar (17), whose family owns an eatery in Khadki village in Daund taluka of Pune district.
According to the complaint, during the call made on September 2, the caller spoke in a voice very similar to that of the Baramati MLA. The caller allegedly identified himself as Ajitdada, like the NCP leader is usually addressed by others.
The caller allegedly said, “What is the ongoing dispute of your property near the poultry farm? Quickly settle the dispute. I have plans to set up an IT Park and other big projects in the area. Make sure that there is no issue”.
Solaskar said that when he asked for confirmation on whether it was indeed the NCP leader on the other end of the line, the caller said, ‘Why are you asking? This is Ajit Pawar, the deputy chief minister.’
Police officials from Daund said the Solaskar family has an ongoing dispute over a land in the village. However, the youth did not mention the call to anyone until recently, when some issues related to the disputed land came up for discussion. When he told family members and some political workers in the village, they approached police on Tuesday and informed them about the call.
“After the case was registered, we analysed the call details and traced it to a number that was registered on a Pune address but was being used by a man in Daund, a neighbour of the Solaskar family. We arrested the suspect Pritesh Shinde, a tattoo artist who used to work in Pune city but is in Daund since the lockdown. While Shinde does not have direct interest in the disputed land, he was aware of the dispute. He has told us that he wanted to play a prank and see if the complainant gets scared. He was booked and arrested since he posed as a public servant,” said a police officer from Daund.
Police have booked Shinde under Indian Penal Code section 170 (impersonating a public servant). He was arrested on Wednesday and later released on bail.
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