Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
ANI Photo

In order to checkmate the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is targeting the ruling Shiv Sena and the home department over the attack on retired Navy officer Madan Sharma, the Maharashtra government has ordered police to reopen the case involving BJP MP Unmesh Patil, who was legislator in 2016, for his alleged involvement in the thrashing of an ex-soldier, Sonu Mahajan, in Jalgaon district. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said he has directed police to probe the matter anew.

Mahajan had, in a recent video, narrated how he was attacked by Patil and his supporters but police did not file an FIR or initiate any action against them.

“In 2016, the BJP MLA and the present MP Unmesh Patil and others had attacked the retired soldier Sonu Mahajan. However, the BJP-led government during that time did not give justice to Mahajan. I have received representation and based on this I have asked the police to investigate the case,’’ said Deshmukh.

Deshmukh further said, as a BJP-led government was in power then, no FIR was filed in the case.

Two days ago, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant had alleged that during the term of the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, an attempt was made to kill retired army soldier Sonu Mahajan on the orders of BJP MP Unmesh Patil. “Why has the BJP MP not been arrested by police until now? Why is the BJP protecting its party MP? When will the Defence Minister call the family of Sonu Mahajan and assure them of justice?’’ asked Sawant. He had thereafter urged Deshmukh to launch a fresh probe into the case.

The BJP has fired a fresh salvo against Shiv Sena and the state government in connection with the attack on Sharma. Party legislator Atul Bhatkhalkar alleged that the re-arrest of six Shiv Sena members by police and their bail was because of political pressure. However, neither the BJP nor Bhatkhalkar offered any comment on party MP Unmesh Patil’s alleged involvement in the attack on ex-soldier Mahajan.

Deshmukh’s decision comes at a time when the veteran BJP leader from Jalgaon, Eknath Khadse, has been attacking former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for neglecting him and others who worked hard to build the party organisation in the state. Incidentally, Unmesh Patil had received the BJP nomination with the strong support of Fadnavis and his close confidant and former water resources minister Girish Mahajan. Khadse and Mahajan have been at loggerheads.

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