1 Arrested For Allegedly Assaulting, Molesting Pune District Sarpanch, Say Police

At a press meet, the sarpanch alleged that the NCP is trying to pressure her in routine work, including plans for Covid vaccination in the village

1 Arrested For Allegedly Assaulting, Molesting Pune District Sarpanch, Say Police

Incident occurred when sarpanch tried to break up a fight, police said. (Representational)

Pune:

A man was arrested on charges of assaulting and molesting a woman sarpanch in Pune district of Maharashtra during a brawl at a vaccination centre, police said today. It is alleged that the accused is an NCP worker. 

The case was registered at the Loni Kalbhor police station after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

The incident occurred on Friday morning when the sarpanch tried to break up a fight between the accused and another person at a vaccination centre in the village near Pune, an official said.

The accused allegedly hit the sarpanch and also threatened her with dire consequences, he said quoting the FIR.

A case was registered under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the official added.

The accused was arrested and later granted bail, he said.

The accused also filed a cross-complaint against the sarpanch, following which a non-cognizable offence was registered against her and her supporters, the official said.

Maharashtra BJP leader Chitra Wagh met the sarpanch in her village on Sunday.

"The NCP is trying to pressure me during various routine works, including planning vaccination for the village," the sarpanch told a press conference.

Ms Wagh alleged that the local administration hasn't taken cognizance of this incident. "This is a shocking incident. The sarpanch hasn't got any help from the administration. Not even Hasan Mushrif, who is Rural Development Minister in the Maharashtra government, has taken any cognizance of the incident," she alleged.

Citing various instances, Ms Wagh alleged that the ruling party -- Shiv Sena -- seems to have prepared laws to save their MLAs and other party workers.

"In this case, they are trying to save the accused. Has CM (Uddhav Thackeray) given a special right to the party whose member is a home minister to ill-treat women?" she asked without taking the name of any party.

The NCP is one of the three constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government which also includes the Shiv Sena and the Congress. 

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