The Navi Mumbai Police on Saturday evening arrested a Marathi actress Ketaki Chitale who shared an objectionable post targeting Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, as all political parties unitedly slammed her, here.
The development followed a complaint registered with Kalwa Police by NCP leader Swapnil Netke against Chitale, 30, who shared a Marathi verse denigrating Pawar and resulting in a political furore.
Subsequently, she was taken to the Kalamboli Police Station in Navi Mumbai which arrested her, even as other complaints have been lodged against her in Mumbai, Nashik, Pune and different cities.
A group of angry women activists outside the police station shouted slogans against her and someone threw ink on her as she was being taken to a van.
On Friday, Chitale forwarded a poem purportedly penned by one Advocate Nitin Bhave on her Facebook wall that kicked off a political row and the actress has been hugely trolled for the foul language used in that verse.
The ruling NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress, Samajwadi Party, and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and many more on social media networks, roundly lambasted Chitale with most saying she had lost her ‘mental balance’ and needed urgent psychiatric treatment.
They include leaders and Ministers like Deputy Chief Minister Majeed Memon, Jayant Patil, Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse-Patil, Rupali Chakankar, Sena’s Sanjay Raut, MoS Kishore Tiwari, ex-Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Union MoS Raosaheb Danve-Patil, Raj Thackeray, activist Trupti Desai and others castigated Chitale.
However, at a media briefing, a grinning Pawar seemed unruffled by the criticism and claimed he had neither heard of the actress nor read her social media post or was aware why she was picked up by police.
Recently in focus for accusing Pawar of playing ‘caste politics’, Raj Thackeray appeared to defend him in the Chitale episode, saying such things have “no place in Marathi culture, and I strongly condemn it.”
“Differences of views must be fought on an ideological level. I have disagreements with Sharad Pawar, but such writings display a deranged mind and it must be curbed on time,” Raj said in a statement.
In his complaint to Thane Police, Netke said that Chitale’s defamatory post has caused outrage among party leaders, workers and the people, and it could lead to a law and order situation.
“Ketaki Chitale has created animosity between different castes and parties by such posts, we have demanded strong action against her and she may be arrested,” Netke said.
Chitale has worked in some television serials, but attained fame through the series “Tuza Maza Breakup” and is notorious for making controversial statements on social media.
The development came a day after some individuals issued a ‘death threat’ to Pawar on Twitter in which the Maharashtra Police have started a probe.