Making his first public look since he was linked to the demise of Pooja Chavan, a 22-year-old girl who allegedly died by suicide in Pune two weeks in the past, State Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod appeared at Pohradevi on Tuesday. The Shiv Sena chief claimed innocence within the matter and stated his title was being linked to the case due to “sordid politics”.
Pohradevi, situated at Manora tahsil of Washim district, is taken into account to be essentially the most sacred shrine of the Banjara neighborhood, to which Rathod belongs.
Rathod arrived on the shrine round 1 pm with 1000’s of his supporters crowding the place, violating all Covid-19 norms. Rathod and his spouse additionally carried out puja, with a number of mahants (non secular gurus) of the neighborhood performing the rituals.
Addressing mediapersons, he stated, “The Banjara community has been deeply saddened by the death of Pooja Chavan and we are all with her aggrieved family in this tragedy. But the sordid politics being done in this matter in Maharashtra is completely wrong and baseless.”
He alleged, “This is an attempt to destroy 30 years of political, personal and social life. I can tell you with guarantee that whatever is being shown in news media as well as social media has no iota of truth. The chief minister has ordered an inquiry and the police are probing the matter. The truth will come out soon. I request all not to defame me, my family and my community.”
Rathod denied that he was “hiding” for 14 days after the aspiring mannequin’s alleged suicide. “I was in Mumbai, at my residence, for 10 days, not 14 days. And I was also doing my regular work from there,” he stated.
The minister additionally claimed that he was along with his household, together with his youngsters and his mother and father, and needed to maintain them amidst the “campaign” towards him. “Today, I have come to this holy place and will resume my work as usual after leaving this place,” he stated.
Rathod exhorted the media to not ask him any questions on his alleged involvement within the case. “Don’t put me in the wrong box please. Let the inquiry findings come out,” stated Rathod.
Rathod’s Pohradevi go to is being seen as his present of energy to place his personal authorities below strain. Chavan’s mother and father have already denied his involvement in her demise, and, with 1000’s of his supporters turning up at Pohradevi regardless of prohibitory orders, the case may show to be tough for the Maha Vikas Aghadi authorities to barter. The Banjara neighborhood’s non secular head, Babu Singh Maharaj, has additionally lent his help to the minister, making it additional tough for the federal government to take a political name within the case.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered a probe into the violation of Covid restrictions throughout Rathod’s Pohradevi go to. Washim Police have registered offences below related sections of Covid-related legal guidelines towards 10 individuals, together with “8,000-10,000 others”.
“We had issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the IPC. We had also managed to prevent vehicles from entering within 10 km of Pohradevi. But thousands of people from neighbouring villages did manage to sneak in through the forest and reached the place. There were about 8,000-10,000 people on the premises there,” stated Washim Superintendent of Police Vasant Pardeshi.
Rathod couldn’t be reached for feedback.