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Awhad demands CID probe into Badlapur ashram attack incident

Jitendra Awhad

Thane: Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Kalwa-Mumbra MLA Jitendra Awhad said here today that a CID probe must be ordered into the June 2015 Badlapur incident involving Kulgaon-Badlapur Municipal Council Vice President Ashish Damle and godman Ratnakar Maharaj.

Addressing a press conference at the circuit house here, Awhad claimed that the whole incident was a “stage managed” conspiracy by the opposition Shiv Sena and BJP to malign Damle and sabotage his political career.

It was nothing but a political conspiracy by the opposition which exerted pressure on the police to act against Damle, he said, adding that only an enquiry would bring out the truth about the incident.

He said that the NCP was right in suspending Damle at that juncture for alleged misdeeds which was a routine party procedure, but he would be taken back into the party after his innocence is established.

He said that Damle had reached Sadhana Ashram shortly before midnight, to fetch his girlfriend Pallavi Ratnakar who was camping there. A quarrel between him and Ratnakar Maharaj was followed by a clash between sympathisers of the two.

Later, it was alleged that Damle and around 25 of his followes raided the ashram, beat up the inmates, kidnapped Pallavi, snatched a gun as well as looted Rs 1 lakh in cash from the ashram, he said.

In turn, Damle had alleged that Ratnakar had abused him as well as fired at him and his men, he said.

The police had registered offences against Damle and his followers under Section 363, Section 395, Section 452, Section 323, Section 504, Section 506 and Section 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

Damle went absconding for some days after the incident, only to be arrested by the police after his anticipatory bail was rejected by court.

Later, Pallavi told the police that she had gone with Damle on her own, after which charges against Damle were dropped.

After a complaint was filed by one of Damle’s followers, a judge had directed the police to register an offence of attempt to murder against Ratnakar Maharaj and another person.

In his order, the judge stated, “I perused the application and documents filed by the applicant and hearned the counsel of the applicant. Offences alleged against the accused under Section 307 are serious in nature. Therefore, a through investigation is necessary”.

The judge ordered the matter to be investigated as per provisions under Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“Issued letter to the Kulgaon police station inspection for investigation of offence alleged against accused Naresh Vitthal Ratnakar and Omkar Naresh Ratnakar under Section 307, Section 504 and Section 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code as well as Section 25(1)(c) and Section 27 of the Indian Arms Act vide Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, to file report by September 25,” the judge stated.

Talking to reporters, Damle stated that while Ratnakar Maharaj had admitted that he had fired a shot, the police stated that he had fired two shots, while the ballistic report states that four shots were fired.

Hence, it is absolutely essential for a thorough CID probe into the incident, Damle said.

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