Fadnavis ‘welcomed’ absconding accused at official bungalow: Congress

Mumbai: The Congress on Friday alleged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hosted an absconding accused, who allegedly faced a social boycott in his native village in Sindhudurg district at his official residence ‘Varsha’.

Congress state general secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant claimed that Fadnavis not only only hosted Parmanand Hewalekar on Thursday, but also invited him to perform a pooja of Lord Ganesh idol installed at ‘Varsha’.

Contacted by IANS, officials in the CMO declined to comment on the allegations.

Alleging “state patronage” to a wanted accused, Sawant cited a copy of a warrant issued on August 26 by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Kudal in Sindhudurg ordering Hewalekar to remain present before him on October 6.

The accused has been summoned by the court for charges of molestation, intimidation and others registered against him by the local police, he added.

“Its not only sad but laughable that an absconder accused is permitted to perform Lord Ganesh pooja by the CM at his home,” Sawant told media persons here.

He sarcastically added that a person playing hide-and-seek wtih the law was “found” by Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio and wondered where the state was heading to.

Claiming to be victims of “social boycott” slapped on them by the “Jaat Panchayat” in Mahadevache-Kerwade village, Hewalekar and his wife Preetam from had come to Mumbai seeking justice.

On Wednesday evening, the Hewalekar duo went to the main gates of Mantralaya – the state government headquarters – with an idol of Lord Ganesh, claiming the villagers had barred them frm celebrating Ganeshotsav festival in view of the “social boycott”.

When they were not permitted to enter Mantralaya, they remained seated on the pavement along with the idol.

When Fadnavis heard about their dilemma, he directed the Mumbai police to make arrangements for their stay and other comforts last night.

On Thursday, the Hewalekar couple was warmly welcomed at “Varsha”, the CM’s official residence at Malabar Hill and invited to perform a pooja of the Lord Ganesh idol installed there with Fadnavis.

Later, he sat with them and learnt about the social boycott and other issues they encountered in the village.

Moved by their predicament, Fadnavis ordered the district collector and police superintendent to forthwith enquire into the matter with the village authorities, and initiate appropriate measures to provide relief to the Hewalekars.

The couple’s plight was prominently highlighted in the media today (Friday) along with their pictures performing pooja with Fadnavis.