Mumbai: Congress MLA Nitesh Rane and his 16 supporters were Thursday arrested for attacking a deputy engineer with mud in Maharashtra, days after a BJP legislator assaulted an official with a cricket bat in Madhya Pradesh.
Nitesh Rane, the son of BJP Rajya Sabha MP and former chief minister Narayan Rane, and his supporters were held for the mud attack on deputy engineer Prakash Shedekar of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at Kankavli in coastal Sindhudurg district, Dikshit Gedam, Superintendent of Police, told PTI.
Narayan Rane has apologised for his son’s conduct.
Nitesh Rane, the MLA from Kankavli, and his supporters were protesting after finding potholes and mud on the busy Mumbai-Goa highway that passes through the coastal district.
In the video clip that went viral on social media, Nitesh Rane and his supporters, including Kankavli Municipal Council president Samir Nalawade, were seen tying Shedekar to the railing of a bridge and pouring buckets of mud on him.
“Every day the locals have to face such mud from the passing vehicles…you also experience it,” Nitesh Rane and Nalawade were heard saying to Shedekar.
The MLA and his supporters were booked under IPC sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 342 (wrongful confinement and 120-b (criminal conspiracy), the official said.
A section of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act was also slapped on them, he said.
As the video of the incident went viral and caused an outrage, Narayan Rane apologised for his son’s misconduct.
“I apologise for my son’s act of pouring mud on a government official. The protest (against poor condition of the highway) was for the local people,” the former chief minister told PTI.
The incident comes close on the heels of an attack by BJP lawmaker Akash Vijayvargiya, the son of senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, on a civic official in Indore on June 26.
Akash Vijayvargiya, who was later arrested and spent four days in jail before getting bail, attacked the official with a cricket bat over demolition of a dilapidated building.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had strongly disapproved of Akash Vijayvargiya’s misconduct and told party leaders that arrogance and misbehaviour cannot be tolerated.