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KIDNAPPED? WHO, ME?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012
By Philip Varghese

After days of tension and rioting in Thane over a missing BJP corporator, the person at the centre of it all, Suhasini Lokhande, surfaced on Tuesday. This was informed to the Bombay High Court on Tuesday which was hearing the Habeas Corpus (petition seeking to direct the police to produce the person) filed by Sandeep Lele, president of BJP’s Thane unit.

It may be recalled that Lele, in his petition, had alleged that the rival parties would have taken advantage of the mayoral election for the Thane civic body and had sought direction to the police to investigate and find out her whereabouts.

However, when the court started hearing the case on Tuesday, additional public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia told the court that the corporator has been traced and that she was on pilgrimage. “We have her statement and she has said that she was on pilgrimage and accordingly we have recorded her statements,” Kantharia told the division bench of Justices V. M. Kanade and P. D. Kode.

Sources said that Kantharia, in her statements to the police, said that her party workers knew that Lokhande was going to visit temples to seek blessings.
The court, after reading the statement given by Lokhande, observed, “The corporator has clearly said that she had gone to visit temples and she is loyal to your party. Why should you doubt it?”

Reacting to this, advocate Ram Apte, counsel for Lele, said that they moved court since they were worried about her safety.

However, Kantharia told the court that the way the party workers went on rampage, a fine should be imposed on them. “They went rioting across Thane. Buses were damaged, cars were burnt. The police machinery handled all this alone and so we request that there should be fine imposed on them,” Kantharia told the court.

The court, however, said that it is a political issue and the state government can take a decision on this matter. “You don’t take proper care of your candidates,” the court told the petitioner and disposed the petition.



 

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