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NCP Pune unit chief, other leaders held for breaking Covid rules during party office inauguration

The NCP leaders were given immediate bail as the provisions under which the FIR was registered are bailable, said a police officer.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: June 21, 2021 9:21:16 pm
NCP office inauguration, covid norms violatedMassive crowd at the Pune NCP office inauguration attended by Ajit Pawar. (Express)

PUNE POLICE on Monday arrested six office-bearers of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), including its Pune City unit chief Prashant Jagtap, for violating Covid-19 norms during inauguration of the party’s central office in Pune on Saturday.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was also present at the event. Later, all the arrested were granted bail.

An offence was registered on Sunday against various NCP leaders from Pune, including Jagtap, NCP Youth Wing Leader Mahesh Hande and others.

The party’s new central office at Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Chowk at Dengle Bridge was inaugurated on Saturday evening in the presence of Pawar, other senior NCP leaders and a large number of party workers.

After reports of the large crowd at the event appeared in the media and Pawar was asked about it, he apologised and said appropriate action would be taken against those responsible.

On Sunday, an offence was registered at the Shivajinagar police station against the NCP leaders under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 and 270 (for actions leading to possible infection and various Covid-appropriate regulations currently in force) of the IPC.

Senior Inspector Nilima Pawar, in-charge of the Shivajinagar police station, said along with Jagtap, Pradeep Deshmukh, Nilesh Nikam, Rohan Paygude and Balasaheb Bodke, was arrested on Monday morning.

Officials said the office-bearers were released after they presented adequate sureties and completed bail formalities. “We will identify other persons involved in organising the event,” Pawar added.

The police said Hande had sought permission from the Shivajinagar police station to organise the event and use loudspeakers there. While both the permissions were granted, the police had categorically instructed the organisers to adhere to all Covid-19 norms.

Hande had assured the police that 100 to 150 people would attend the event. However, the event, held between 5 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, was attended by over 500 people, as per the police’s preliminary estimate.

While social distancing norms were blatantly violated, many workers were seen not wearing masks, the police added.

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