Thane: The Thane city police have registered a case of defamation against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday for his "derogatory remarks" against freedom fighter VD Savarkar, said an official from Thane city police station.
JN Ranaware, senior police inspector of Thane City police station said, "Vandana Dongre a social worker from Thane and also a functionary of the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde lodged a complaint against Rahul Gandhi alleging that he has hurt the sentiments of citizens through his derogatory comments against Savarkar. We registered a case against Rahul Gandhi under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 500 (defamation) and 501 (printing or engraving matter knowing it to be defamatory."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra is now passing through Maharashtra and on Thursday, during a press conference at Wadegaon in Akola district, Gandhi said, "Savarkar helped the British rulers and also wrote a mercy petition to them and betrayed Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders of the freedom struggle."
In Washim district too Rahul Gandhi, during a rally as a part of his yatra, called Savarkar a symbol of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Gandhi also said that Savarkar was jailed in Andaman for two-three years and there he started writing mercy petitions.
The BJP and Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, the faction led by Shinde, have criticised Gandhi over the remarks. On Thursday the party workers from the Eknath Shinde faction under the leadership of Thane former mayor Naresh Mhaske carried out a protest where they raised slogans against Rahul Gandhi and also burned his effigies.
Rahul Gandhi is already facing a defamation case in Thane district. Earlier in 2014, an RSS worker had filed a case against Rahul Gandhi after watching his speech in Thane's Bhiwandi area where he alleged that RSS was behind the killing of Mahatma Gandhi.