Nitesh Rane, the son of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane, assaulted and dunked a bucket of slush on a PWD deputy engineer on Thursday in Sidhudurg district while protesting delay in construction of a bridge over Gaad river.
The deputy engineer was summoned to the site of construction by Nitesh Rane, who is presently a Congress MLA, and was then manhandled. A video showed the deputy engineer, Prakash Shedekar, tied to the railing of the bridge, even as he apologized and pleaded with Rane and his supporters to set him free.
The bridge in question is to be built by National Highways Authority of India and the engineer had been sent there on deputation.
As news channels showed the video on screen, Nitesh Rane went to the local police station, where he was promptly arrested by police.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis warned that such errant behaviour would not be tolerated, while Narayan Rane apologized for his son's behaviour. He however defended his son for protesting the delay in construction of the bridge, but said that the manhandling of the engineer was unacceptable.
This is not the first time Nitesh Rane has indulged in such acts. He had manhandled officials twice in the past. Once he had a dispute with a hotel owner and his men ransacked the hotel. Nitesh Rane had to go to jail for this incident. He had once threatened Gujaratis to leave Maharashtra.
There are several cases pending against this MLA, and it is now time that the police should place his past record before the court. Police should now ask the court to mete out prompt punishment to this VIP brat, so that a correct message is sent to all those who indulge in such behaviour.
I also demand strong action against the BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, son of senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, who had thrashed a civic official with a bat in full public view a week ago. Even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had publicly expressed his strong disapproval over the conduct of him and his supporters, no action has been taken so far by the party.
It may be true that people's representatives are concerned about public welfare, but if every citizen takes the law into his own hands, then how can we claim that there is rule of law. The job of a people's representative is to formulate laws, and not to break them.
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The government must identify such people and action must be taken against them. Inciting people in the name of religion and injecting communal poison in a civil society is a crime.