This could have been out of potboiler with a name like Aag ka gola or Aaj ka MLA if it hadn’t been happening 250 miles from Bollywood and its cameras.
An upright IPS officer — alumnus of a celebrated college, a former national powerlifting champ, a man who has sweated with the army in a hostile land — storms into the home of a notorious MLA accused of rape, beats the hell out of him, and then, shoving a gun into the neta’s mouth, drags him off.
At least some of this seems to have happened in Solapur on Wednesday night.
Ravikant Patil, independent MLA from Indi in Karnataka, has been charged with rioting. Solapur commissioner Ashok Kamthe says the media should be probing how a man like him had been allowed to roam free in the first place. Maharashtra top cop PS Pasricha has ordered a probe into the incident.
This is what happened.
Around midnight on Wednesday, a police van landed up at Patil’s bungalow to stop his supporters from bursting loud firecrackers in violation of a Supreme Court ban on noise pollution after 10 p.m. Patil’s men refused — it was their leader’s 50th birthday and they were celebrating, they said. An exchange ensued, and the MLA’s men allegedly abused and pushed the policemen around.
Hearing the news, Kamthe himself arrived, and ordered Patil’s arrest. Fists started flying immediately. Furniture was smashed and the MLA was allegedly thrashed by Kamthe, who then arrested him personally.
Patil, who is hypertensive and a diabetic, was taken to Solapur Civil Hospital, and spent the night in the ICU. A court gave him bail on Thursday.
“I was left with no option when he tried to resist arrest physically, using force”, Kamthe told the Hindustan Times.
Patil’s brother Ratikant Patil, also an MLA, complained against Kamthe to Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
“I met the chief minister and demanded that Kamthe should be suspended immediately. I have also complained to Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil and Maharashtra Human Rights Commission,” Ratikant, a Shiv Sena MLA, told HT.
“We were inside the bungalow with Ravikant. We did not know who was bursting the crackers outside. Kamthe came inside our home, shoved his revolver in Ravikant’s mouth, and beat him up and other family members,” Ratikant said.
According to the Solapur police, Ravikant, an MLA for 20 years, has around 45 cases including that of extortion, rioting, rape and possession of arms against him. Kamthe, a superb athlete, studied at Delhi’s St Stephen’s, and was part of the UN peacekeeping force in Somalia for over a year.