Maharashtra orders probe into 2016 attack by BJP MP on ex-army man

The Maharashtra government has ordered a police probe against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Parliament member Unmesh Patil for allegedly assaulting a retired army man in 2016.

“In 2016, the then BJP legislator and his accomplices had attacked former army man Sonu Mahajan. The then BJP Government did not give him justice. Since I have received various petitions in this regard, I have asked the Police officials to investigate this matter,” tweeted Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.

The move came after the Congress, which is a part of the Maharashtra government, on Sunday raised the issue as the BJP hit out at ruling Shiv Sena workers for allegedly assaulting former navy officer Madan Sharma last week for forwarding a social media post mocking chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Mahajan was assaulted in Maharashtra’s Chalisgaon when Patil was an assembly member.

The BJP called the probe against Patil an act of revenge. “They can open any case and get it investigated as this is their right. But then, why were these people silent from 2016 when this incident occurred,” said BJP spokesman Madhav Bhandari. “The problem is that the state government has failed on all fronts and hence is indulging in the politics of vengeance.”

The BJP last week called the attack on Sharma “state-sponsored terrorism” and Union defence minister Rajnath Singh even spoke to him.

The Shiv Sena has distanced itself from the attack saying it is not right to drag the party into this issue. “The workers did not take permission from us. However, at the same time, it was wrong to provoke people as they have high respect for their leaders,” said Shiv Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut.

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