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Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Cops nab ex-NCP minister for violence in multiplex

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Thane Police have arrested senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Awhad for indulging in violence at a city mall during the screening of the Marathi film ‘Har Har Mahadev’ eralier this week, officials said here on Friday.

The ruckus broke out at a multiplex in the Viviana Mall on Monday night when Awhad, along with some 100 supporters, allegedly roughed up a few persons at the venue of the film screening.

The Vartaknagar police station, which had filed a case in the matter on Tuesday and issued show-cause notices, has arrested Awhad while more arrests are likely to be made soon, said an official.

Late on Monday, the ex-NCP minister and other activists had thronged the multiplex to interrupt the film screening – which was later stopped – alleging historic distortions pertaining to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, allegedly made by the filmmakers.

Soon after his arrest under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Mumbai Police Act, Awhad tweeted that he would not plead guilty but will continue to fight against wrong portrayal of historic events.

He also charged the police of following orders from “some higher-ups” in a bid to frame him. Incidentally, Thane is the hometown of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Flaying Awhad’s arrest, senior NCP MP Supriya Sule said there ‘British Raj’ in Maharashtra, while hundreds of party workers staged protests outside the police station.

Awhad said he got a call at 1 pm from the Vartaknagar police station, saying that either the cops will send him a notice or he could come to the police station house, to which he agreed.

Later, at the police station, cops engaged him in small talk till the local Deputy Commissioner of Police reached there.

“He respectfully said, ‘I can’t do anything. Orders have come from above. You should be arrested’. This is abuse of police power,” Awhad claimed.

Viral videos of the incident on Monday night purportedly show Awhad and others having loud arguments, indulging in fistfights with some members of the audience even as the multiplex staffers attempted to placate both sides.

Maharashtra

BJP may lose K’taka in next Assembly polls: Sharad Pawar

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Karnataka is slipping out of the ruling BJP’s control and may see a change of power after the next Assembly elections, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said here on Saturday.

“There are clear indications that the BJP will not retain power in Karnataka after the upcoming state electionsa We are making attempts to unite the Opposition parties and forge a united front, but all states have different local issues which need to be tackled,” said Pawar.

Addressing mediapersons in this erstwhile royalty town, Pawar said that the results of a recent public opinion survey have revealed that the mood of the masses is going against the BJP and it could suffer major setbacks in the next elections.

“The people will no longer vote on religious issues. The masses are being divided on religious lines, which will not work anymore.”

Commenting on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY), Pawar pointed out that it has secured the support of the ordinary citizens, as can be seen from the response he is getting.

Besides, the misleading image of the Congress leader (Rahul) that was sought to be created has been shattered through the nationwide march, he said.

Slamming the Centre’s decision to ban the BBC documentary, the NCP supremo and the leading light behind the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) termed it as an “assault” on democracy.

Referring to the comments of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) President Prakash Ambedkar that the Centre is not misusing federal probe agencies like ED, CBI, Pawar countered that the government is targeting Opposition leaders and peoples’ rights are being crushed.

Reacting to the VBA, which recently allied with the Shiv Sena (UBT), having any talks on joining the MVA, Pawar shot back, saying that as “there’s no proposal, where’s the question of holding any discussions”, and reiterated that the MVA will contest the upcoming elections unitedly.

Pawar added that with Parliament session starting in New Delhi next week, the efforts to forge a national united Opposition front will resume with all the leaders.

“I am personally in touch with many Opposition leadersa There are some ticklish aspects issues as the different parties are on opposing sides in some states owing to their local or regional issues. We have to sort them out first.”

He made it clear that the MVA is fighting the upcoming MLC biennial elections and the MLA bypolls unitedly in the state and will continue in the same spirit in future.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai: Estimated hike in electricity rates Proposal to increase electricity rates around 40% (MSEDCL)

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The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has proposed a 30%-40% tariff hike for residential and commercial consumers,

This means that consumers in the city are likely to pay more for electricity in the coming financial year.

A petition filed by MSEDCL before Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to propose the hike for customers across the state from April 1 was made public recently.

Electricity consumers to pay more

At present, MSEDCL’s residential consumers currently pay a fixed cost of ₹105 per month, which is proposed to be hiked by ₹13.

The company has also suggested increasing the wheeling charge (the fees paid to transport electricity from a power plant to end customers) for residential consumers from ₹1.25 per unit to ₹1.43 per unit.

President of the state electricity consumers’ organisation Pratap Hogade said the main reason behind the tariff hike is the increase in thermal power costs.

The MERC has invited objections and suggestions to through a public notice.

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Crime

Mumbai: Minor boy detained for raping 5-year-old girl in Nagpada; victim to get free education till 10th std

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A minor boy was detained for allegedly raping a 5-year-old girl in Nagpada and sent to a juvenile correction centre.

He was detained within six hours of the crime.

Free education till 10th standard for victim

The Nagpada police officials have collected Rs 1.10 lakh for the victim and have made provisions for giving her free education till the 10th standard.

A case has been registered under sections of IPC and POCSO.

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