Shiv Sena disowns ex-partyman in woman constable assault case

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Mumbai, Feb 26 (IANS) The Shiv Sena on Friday disowned a former party worker arrested on charge of assaulting a woman traffic constable in full public view in Thane and demanded strict action against him.

In a statement issued here, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray said accused Shashikant Kalgude, arrested on the charge of attacking an on-duty woman police officer on Thursday, was no longer associated with the party.

“The accused is not, anymore, an office-bearer of our party. Just because of a sticker pasted on his car, the party must not be dragged into the matter. The accused’s action is not in the course of party work or he didn’t do it in the name of the party,” Aditya Thackeray said.

The brutal assault on the woman traffic cop – whose identity has been withheld by the police – was captured on a CCTV installed nearby. Shocked people from across the state bombarded Sena leaders with tweets and messages.

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The incident occurred around 11 a.m. on Thursday at the busy Nitin Chowk on the Eastern Express Highway in Thane when the 29-year-old constable noticed Kalgude, 44, talking on his mobile phone while driving.

Kalgude ignored the constable’s signal to stop and attempted to drive his sport utility vehicle past her but she jumped in front, forcing him to stop.

She demanded to see his driving licence and vehicle documents, but he allegedly abused her, came out of the SUV and slapped and punched her viciously, as stunned pedestrians and other drivers looked on.

As the constable bled profusely from her nose, a lawyer Pratik Pawar passing by on a bike tried to catch him but was also slapped and jostled in return. But Pawar held on to the accused and asked an onlooker to summon the police.

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Kalgude was taken to the Naupada police station and booked for assault and use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of duty and molestation.

State Women’s Commission chief Chitra Wagh condemned the assault, as Thane Police decided to recommend suspension of Kalgude’s driving licence.

Congress’ leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, meanwhile, condemned the assault.

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