An emotionally charged Mumbai Police constable offered a rose to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray shortly after the latter's rally at Azad Maidan on Tuesday evening.
Constable Pramod Tawade, who was posted on security duty, was apparently moved by Thackeray's speech expressing solidarity with the police personnel and media persons who were attacked during the Aug 11 Muslim groups' protests against violence in Assam. Soon after Thackeray's speech, Tawade walked on to the stage and offered the MNS chief a rose and expressed gratitude to him for boosting his morale.
Later, mobbed by media persons, Tawade alleged that he was insulted and lampooned by Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik when he nabbed some culprits involved in the Aug 11 violence. "Instead of appreciating my efforts, he (Patnaik) said I resemble Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and that I acted in an over-smart manner," Tawade said in a choked voice.
He expressed apprehension that he could face disciplinary action but said in a resigned voice: "Now I am not bothered about the consequences." However, the MNS decided to throw its weight behind Tawade and support him in case he faces any action from the police bosses, assured party legislator Bala Nandgaonkar.
"We shall stand by him if Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik or Home Minister R.R. Patil take any steps against him or subject him to any kind of action. We shall also raise the issue in the winter session of Maharashtra legislature," Nandgaonkar said.
The MNS leader also demanded that the state must provide financial assistance to Tawade who was a victim of assault by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel two years ago. "The least the government can do is take action against the concerned CISF personnel to ensure justice is done to him," Nandgaonkar said.
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