Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a press conference on Friday said that Uddhav Thackeray made Lalit Patil, the alleged mastermind recently arrested by the Mumbai police in a drug case, the head of the Nashik unit of Shiv Sena.
“Latil Patil was the Nashik city unit president of the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray. In December 2020, when he was arrested, police had sought his custody from the court for 14 days. Patil got himself admitted to Sassoon Hospital. For 14 days, he was in Sassoon Hospital. After 14 days, he was remanded to magisterial custody. After the arrest, Lalit Patil was not even interrogated. There was not even an application from the state government that Patil should be produced before the medical board. Neither there was any application that since he was admitted in Sassoon [hospital] for 14 days, they should be given police custody after expiry of 14 days,” Fadnavis said and asked, “When the case comes up for trial, how would a court convict an accused who was not even interrogated?”
“I want to ask whether Patil got the favour just because he was the Nashik city president of Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena," Fadnavis said when asked about the case at a press conference.
Fadnavis further said that there are many more issues related to the case, which he would speak about at an appropriate time.
"There are several things that come out of this.... (such as) who called up (the police)... the chief minister, home minister or any other person?,” Fadnavis said.
Patil was close to Dada Bhuse: Danve
Leader of Opposition in the state legislative council Ambadas Danve refuted the allegation stating that Patil was close to senior leader from the district Dada Bhuse, who is minister in the present government and is considered to be very close to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. He appealed to Fadnavis to probe the case properly and bring to fore the real culprits instead of making baseless charges.
Patil, who was lodged in Yerawada Central Prison, was admitted to the Sassoon Hospital in Pune earlier this year for treatment of hernia and tuberculosis. He escaped from the hospital on October 2, only to be arrested by the Mumbai police in Bengaluru on October 17. On September 30, the Pune police had arrested Patil’s aide Subhash Janaki Mandal from near Sassoon hospital with over 1.71 kg of mephedrone worth Rs 2.14 crore. Probe revealed that Patil had allegedly supplied the contraband to Mandal through Rauf Rahim Shaikh, a worker at the hospital canteen. Police then seized two iPhones from Patil and an FIR was lodged against Patil, Mandal and Shaikh under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.