Following a clamour from various quarters, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday ordered a CID inquiry into the death of prominent Maratha leader Vinayak Mete in a road accident on August 14.
Taking cognisance of the matter, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has directed the Director-General of Police to initiate measures for the CID probe into the accident three days ago.
Mete, 52, president of the Shiv Sangram Party and a face of the Maratha agitation a few years ago, was killed instantaneously when his SUV coming from Beed via Pune to Mumbai crashed into a vehicle ahead of him on the Yeshwantrao Chavan Mumbai-Pune Expressway, early on Sunday.
Soon afterwards, Mete’s aged mother, wife Jyoti and on Wednesday his nephew Balasaheb Chavan, besides several leaders of the Maratha Kranti Morcha and other groups raised doubts about the circumstances leading to the accident, the purported delay in rushing medical help to him and other aspects.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had announced a probe into the mishap with the highway police, Raigad Police setting up around half a dozen teams to investigate Mete’s death which shocked the state.
Mete’s last rites were performed in his native village in Beed on Monday with full state honours, though his family and other Maratha leaders kept raising questions about the highway crash at around 5 a.m. the previous morning.
Speaking to the media in Pune on Wednesday, Mete’s nephew Chavan said that among other things, the vehicle driver Eknath Kadam — one of the three drivers who worked for Mete — was giving contradictory replies on the accident to the investigators and demanded an in-depth probe into the whole incident.
Squarely blaming the driver, who also suffered minor injuries, for the crash, Chavan accused him of not giving the ‘exact location of the accident’ despite repeated attempts, why was the SUV not visible in the CCTVs and who was the person keeping in regular touch with the driver on the phone.