Thane: Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale and another man were arrested for objectionable posts against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar. Chitale, who has acted in Marathi serials, had shared a Marathi verse written by advocate Nitin Bhave on her Facebook page. The verse allegedly made personal attacks on Pawar’s health issues and his demeanour.
The post contained phrases like “hell is waiting” and “you hate Brahmins”, allegedly referring to Pawar whose party shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
A defamation case was registered against Chitale earlier in the day by the Kalwa Police and the case was later transferred to the Thane crime branch.
The actress was arrested by the Kalamboli police from her residence near DY Patil College. A separate team has been formed to locate Bhave.
Following the post, a resident from Kalwa, Swapnil Netake, filed a complaint. “We have filed a defamation case against Ketaki Chitale under IPC sections 505(2), 500, 501. Further, the case was handed over to the Thane crime branch for investigation,” said M Awhad, senior police inspector, Kalwa police station.
After following due procedure, Chitale was handed over to the Thane crime branch unit 1.
Thane Crime Branch unit 1, senior police inspector, A Deshmukh, said, “We have arrested her from her residence near Nerul-Kalmboli area after which the procedure was done in the Kalamboli police station and brought her here. We are also looking for Bhave, who wrote the original poem.”
A second case was also registered in Naupada police station based on a complaint filed by Thane city NCP president, Anand Paranjape, against a Nikhil Bhamre who allegedly posted similar derogatory comments against Pawar. Bhamre reportedly called him Gandhi and claimed that there is a need for Nathuram Godse to be born.
In his tweet, Bhamre had said that the time has come to create “Baramati’s Nathuram Godse for the Gandhi of Baramati”. He had, however, not mentioned the name of any leader or political party in the tweet.
Baramati, a town in the Pune district of the state, is the home turf of Sharad Pawar, while Godse was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.
He was arrested in the Nashik district for the objectionable comment against Pawar, an official from Naupada police confirmed.
Meanwhile, some NCP women protestors threw ink on Ketaki Chitale in Navi Mumbai while she was being taken for her medical check-up after the arrest. The protestors also shouted slogans against Chitale.
Meanwhile, NCP minister Jitendra Awhad thanked Thane, Navi Mumbai and Nashik police for prompt arrest on his social media.
Sharad Pawar avoided commenting on the issue and said that he was not aware of any such actress and her social media posts.
Ajit Pawar, deputy chief minister and nephew of Sharad Pawar said, “This is nothing but mental deformity and she urgently needs to be treated at a mental hospital. This is not our culture and everybody should keep conscience while speaking about public figures.”
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, who has staunchly attacked Pawar during his recent rallies, came to his defense and slammed the actress.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Thackeray said, “This has no place in Maharashtra’s culture. We have differences with them (Pawar) and will remain in future, but it would not stoop to this level. This is not the mindset but a mental sickness which needs to be checked at the appropriate time.”
He said that such posts by a handful of persons, divide sections of society and the rulers now should realise the level of enmity has stooped to a new low.
Similarly, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, said, “Nobody should use derogatory language against any veteran leader. Today, absurd language is being rampantly used on social media. I think the law will take its course.”