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Five supporters of Munde held for assault on chopper pilot

Gopinath-MundFive supporters of BJP leader Gopinath Munde were arrested for allegedly assaulting a helicopter pilot after he refused to fly the sitting MP from Beed city to another place, police said.

Those arrested on Thursday were identified as – Rajendra Bangar, Swapnil Galdhar, Pravin Ghuge, Laik Faruqi Subhani Faruqi and Umesh Phad. They were later granted bail by a local court, sub-inspector S D Pawar said. The five arrested were among the ten BJP workers and supporters of Munde who were booked in connection with the incident on April 6.

Police also said efforts were on to identify the others booked in connection with the incident. The ten were booked under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting), 149, 323 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 353, 332 of IPC and under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, police said. The BJP leader was supposed to go to Vida village in Kaij tehsil to address a rally where the villagers had made a helipad for Munde’s helicopter to land near the rally spot.

However, the helicopter’s pilot refused to fly from Beed to the rally spot in Vida village citing fuel shortage and other reasons. A BJP youth leader, who was present at the spot, had said that Munde left the police grounds in a huff after the helicopter pilot refused to fly further and went to Vida village by a four-wheeler.

The supporters had told the pilot that he should have carried their ‘saheb’ to the rally spot. To which the pilot then apparently replied that he (Munde) might be ‘saheb’ for the supporters, not for him. Angered by this, three of the leader’s supporters had allegedly beaten up the pilot.

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