Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis terms parties supporting farmers' protest 'hypocrites'

NAGPUR: A non-cognisable case was registered on Monday against former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and five other leaders of the BJP in Washim district after a complaint was lodged against them for allegedly defaming the woman from Pune district whose death set off a political row leading to resignation of a minister.

The offence was registered under sections 500 (Punishment for defamation) and 501 (Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of the Indian Penal Code at Manora police station.

Besides Fadnavis, who is the Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly, the complaint also named Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Pravin Darekar, former ministers Sudhir Mungantiwar and Ashish Shelar, Mumbai MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar, and BJP leader Chitra Wagh.

The complaint also named Prasad Lad, Shantabai Chavan, and woman activist Trupti Desai.

The 23-year-old woman died in Hadapsar area of Pune in February.

Her death triggered a huge political controversy with the BJP alleging link of Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Rathod to the case.

Rathod, a Banjara community leader, resigned as state Forest minister on Sunday but had denied all allegations raised against him.

The complaint against Fadnavis and others was lodged by Shyam Sardar Rathod, who heads youth wing of the Rashtriya Banjara Parishad in Washim district, as per the copy of the complaint.

Shyam Sardar Rathod also accused some news channels of defaming the deceased woman and the Banjara community.

He also threatened to launch a protest if a strict action is not taken against the accused persons.