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Ink Attack Pre-planned, Says Patil; 3 Held, Scribe’s Role Being Probed

Maharashtra minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chandrakant Patil on Sunday said ink was thrown on him as part of a planned attack and claimed his statement on social reformers Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Phule was “distorted” by some people.

The ink-throwing incident occurred at Pimpri Chichwad here on Saturday in an apparent protest against Patil’s statement that Ambedkar and Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions.

The use of the word “begged” by Patil, who is the state’s minister for higher and technical education, stirred a controversy, leading to the ink attack.

The Pimpri Chichwad police on Sunday evening said three persons had been arrested for the incident, with commissioner Ankush Shinde saying the role of a television journalist was being probed.

They also said 10 police personnel, including three officers, have been placed under suspension for the incident.

Talking to reporters on Sunday, Patil said a journalist had planned the attack on him with protestors, adding he had sought an inquiry into the matter.

“Some people distorted my statement and attacked me in a cowardly manner. This was a planned attack. I will submit evidence to the district collector,” Patil said.

Patil also said he had requested the chief minister (Eknath Shinde) and deputy CM (Devendra Fadnavis) not to suspend the police personnel who were on duty with him at the time of the incident.

Defending himself, Patil said he had strived hard to get Marathwada University renamed after Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Asking if anybody from the group that threw ink on him had even studied the works of Ambedkar, Patil also lashed out at Nationalist Congress Party leaders Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal.

“Why is Ajit Pawar quiet today? Bhujbal has said this (ink throwing) is a natural reaction. In that case, ink should be hurled at him as well. I have read Babasaheb (works). Ask (Karjat Jamkhed NCP MLA) Rohit Pawar to read the works of Babasaheb and then come to counter me,” Patil said.

He said police must be allowed to do its work in connection with the probe into the incident and asked people not to create law and order issues.

Meanwhile, a police official said two of the arrested persons were from the Samata Sainik Dal and one was a member of the Vanchit Bhaujan Aghadi.

A case has been registered against the three in Chinchwad police station under Indian Penal Code sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

Pimpri Chinchwad police commissioner Ankush Shinde said the role of a television journalist was being probed.

The BJP held protests in some places during the day seeking strict action in the case.

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