Commenting on Sharad Pawar is not the only controversy that Ketaki Chitale struck but in 2020, she was booked for a social media post seen as being insulting towards Dalits. Prior to that, she has made comments on other religions and even Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj that have not gone down well. A staunch Godse worshiper and typical Brahmanical conditioning that has landed her in controversies.
The post in Marathi, shared by her on Friday, was supposedly written by someone else. It only mentioned the surname Pawar and the age of 80. The NCP supremo is 81 years old. The post contained phrases like “hell is waiting” and “you hate Brahmins”, allegedly referring to Pawar whose party shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
“The offence against Chitale was registered at Kalwa police station in Thane on Saturday based on a complaint lodged by Swapnil Netke,” a police official had said. When she was taken to the police station, black ink and eggs were thrown at Chitale outside Kalamboli police station in Navi Mumbai by workers of NCP’s women wing. Earlier, the case was registered against her under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 505 (2) (making, publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes), 153 A (spreading disharmony among people) at the Kalwa police station in Thane, he said. In Pune too, a case was registered against her based on a complaint filed by an NCP worker.
The cyber wing of the police registered a case against Chitale under IPC sections 153 (A), 500, and 505 (2). In Dhule also, a case was registered against Chitale and Nitin Bhave, the purported author of the controversial post shared by the actress, under similar sections of the IPC, including section 34 (common intention), on a complaint lodged by an NCP leader.
Meanwhile, when asked by reporters in Nanded about the episode, Pawar said he didn’t know Chitale and had no idea about what she has allegedly posted about him on social media. “I don’t know the person and also have no idea about what you are saying (about the actress’s post),” he said responding to a query.
The 21-year-old student, Nikhil Bhamre, is a resident of Nashik district and a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker, did not directly name Pawar, tweeting in Marathi: “Time has come for Baramati’s Gandhi… to create Nathuram Godse of Baramati.”
Her post referring to “Pawar” says he is a liar, jealous of Brahmins, suffering (from cancer) because of corruption and headed to hell. The post, put up on Friday evening, received 7,400 likes and was shared by 585 people in 24 hours. It is attributed to an advocate named Nitin Bhave.
Meanwhile, Bhamre, who comes from a farmer’s family in Nashik’s Dindori, was arrested in Nashik city where he is pursuing his graduation. Bhamre does not have a prior criminal record and, in the past, was an RSS worker, said police. Police said he has made several such comments in the past as well.
An FIR was registered against Bhamre under IPC Sections 153A, 500, 501, 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation). He will be produced before a magistrate court on Sunday. All major political parties in Maharashtra condemned the post against Pawar.
Maharashtra Housing Development Minister Jitendra Awhad said the youths attached to the NCP will register offences in “at least 100-200” police stations in Maharashtra in connection with Chitale’s post. He had also reported Bhamre’s May 11 tweet to the police, leading to the latter’s arrest.
“We need to keep in mind what kind of language we use while speaking about senior leaders,” said Devendra Fadnavis, Opposition leader and former CM.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray on Saturday said: “We have differences with them [Pawar] and those will be there. But it is quite wrong to come to such a hideous level.”
At a rally in Mumbai, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray castigated the actor: “Who are you to criticise the NCP chief? … Why are you commenting? She seems to be someone from the fake Hindutva camp.”