Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said the Maharashtra Police should take suo motu action over the alleged suicide of a 22-year-old woman in Pune, Pooja Chavan, and questioned whether the police are under some kind of pressure in connection with the case.
BJP leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Kirit Somaiya, and others are also mounting pressure on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. They have also demanded the arrest of Shiv Sena MLA and Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod.
Why has Sanjay Rathod's name cropped up in the 'suicide' case?
Pooja Chavan, a Tik Tok star who hailed from the temple town of Parli Vaijnath in Beed district, died after falling from a building in Pune's Hadapsar area in the wee hours of February 8.
According to Wanwadi police who have registered a case of accidental death, there was no suicide note. However, some social media posts claimed that she was in a relationship with Rathod.
After her death, audio clips of her purported conservation with two persons went viral. On Friday, Fadnavis said his office received these 12 clips of conversation between two persons linked to the woman's death, and he had forwarded them to the Director General of Police.
"The voice in the clip is very easily recognisable by all, and police should also reveal whose voice is there in that clip which is being hidden by the police," Fadnavis said without taking any name. An offence should be registered and truth should come out before people, he added.
Meanwhile, police officers have said that the purported audio clips about her, along with her phone logs and social media accounts, will also be investigated to ascertain the sequent of events and the cause behind her alleged suicide.
Uddhav Thackeray orders probe into allegations:
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that an investigation would be carried out into the allegations against Rathod. “We have been hearing about allegations from different quarters. We have taken note of everything and given directions for an investigation into the matter. However, attempts to destroy careers of individuals, which had been made in some past cases, will not be allowed in this case,” Thackeray said, adding that action would be taken as per the law.
His statement came after the National Commission for Women (NCW) sought a report on the death of Chavan from the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP).
Truth and law will prevail, says Sanjay Raut
Amid allegations levelled against Rathod, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said there have been instances of character assassination in politics but "truth and law" will prevail in this case. "Law will prevail and not what the Opposition wants in this case. Truth will always prevail. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has already said that the case was being probed," he said.
Raut said the woman who had recently levelled allegations (of rape) against NCP leader and minister Dhananjay Munde later withdrew them. "Now there are some allegations against another minister Sanjay Rathod, who is one of the pillars of the Shiv Sena in Vidarbha region (in east Maharashtra). Truth will come out in the probe. But in politics, there have been instances of character assassination and maligning the image of political rivals. And it is believed that one can achieve success in politics (in such manner). But truth remained unchanged," he said.
Taking a swipe at the BJP without naming it, Raut said the course of the probe in the alleged suicide will be as per law and it will not be the way the Opposition wants it to be. "Maharashtra is a place where the law of the land prevails," he said.