Mumbai: An offence was registered in Maharashtra’s Thane city against Marathi actress Ketaki Chitale on Saturday for allegedly sharing a “derogatory” post on Facebook against NCP chief Sharad Pawar, with the party leaders demanding strict action against her. The post targeting Mr Pawar shared by the TV and film actress on Friday was purportedly written by someone else.
The post in Marathi makes no direct mention of the NCP’s chief’s full name. But it mentions the surname Mr Pawar and the age of 80. The NCP patriarch is 81-year-old. Comments like “hell is waiting” and “you hate Brahmins” are part of the post that allegedly criticises the veteran leader, whose party shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
“The offence against Chitale was registered at Kalwa police station in Thane on Saturday based on a complaint lodged by Swapnil Netke, who alleged that the actress posted objectionable content against Pawar, and her post might strain the relationship between the two political parties in the state further and create trouble,” a police official said.
The case against Chitale was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 505 (2) (making, publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes), 153 A (spreading disharmony among people), he said. Meanwhile, in Pune, the NCP submitted a letter to the police demanding action against Chitale over her post.
NCP’s Pune city unit president Prashant Jagtap said, “The social media post by Chitale is defamatory. She has defamed Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule in the post. This post may create unrest, which is why we have given a letter to the cyber police, urging them to take action against her.” The NCP also demanded that the actress be arrested for the post.
“Following the NCP’s letter, we are in the process of registering a case against the actress,” Dagadu Hake, inspector of cybercrime police station said.
Reacting to the post, Maharashtra Housing Development Minister Jitendra Awhad said the youths attached to the NCP will register offences in “at least 100-200” police stations in Maharashtra in connection with the post.
Some of the NCP leaders also sought to link the BJP and the RSS for such remarks being made against Mr Pawar on social media. He said NCP workers will not tolerate such “hideous’ comments about their leader. “Those who want to tolerate will tolerate. But we feel uneasy by reading something of this sort. Society will feel uneasy.
“In Maharashtra, our youth will go to at least 100-200 police stations to register offence…He is the father of the family – that is NCP. He is everything for us and such hideous comments are made about him and that too by a woman!,” Awhad told a news channel.
Another Maharashtra minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal also called for immediate action against the actress. “Immediate action should be taken. It doesn’t matter if she is an actress, actor or minister. She has no right to make such a statement,” Bhujbal said.
NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said the actress has learnt from Maharashtra BJP leaders that the best way to get “cheap and free publicity” is to make derogatory statements against Pawar. “They (BJP leaders) all have tried and failed, this lady will experience the same. Hope God grants her some sensibility,” Crasto tweeted.
“That criticism is condemnable…She should not engage in such a criticism,” Maharashtra State Women’s Commission chairperson Rupali Chakankar told reporters in Nagpur.
Maharashtra unit chief of the women’s wing of the NCP, Vidya Chavan, also said that action will be taken against the actress and blamed the RSS for youngsters making such comments about Mr Pawar on social media.