Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Suresh Dhas is likely to be arrested soon for vandalising the local branch of State Bank of Hyderabad in Beed earlier this week.
Dhas, who is considered to be close to deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, allegedly ransacked the bank office on Thursday with his followers and roughed up two of its employees after a heated exchange with the bank manager BM Thigle over loan applications of farmers.
Late on Friday, the Patoda police in Beed district registered a criminal complaint against Dhas, 10 of his followers and 12 unidentified people on charges of rioting, assault and obstructing government work.
Dhas, an MLA from Ashti, had gone to the bank's Patoda branch on Thursday with some farmers to know the status of their loan applications. The farmers wanted the loans for de-silting the reservoirs.
However, the bank had no provision to lend them loans for this purpose. Dhas had a heated exchange with the branch manager, and the bank's security guard allegedly threatened him with his gun.
Dhas’s supporters became furious and started breaking the office windows and damaging the computers. They also beat up two bank employees.
Dhas was recently criticised for pressuring the government to transfer Beed collector Sunil Kendrekar, known for his uprightness, just three months after he had assumed office. Kendrekar’s transfer order was, however, withdrawn following public protests.
NCP leaders have been at the receiving end over several corruption allegations.
Admitting this, party spokesman Nawab Malik said: “We are not shielding anyone. If Dhas is guilty of ransacking the bank, law will take its own course.”