Sharad Pawar, Sanjay Raut get death threats

Sharad Pawar has been warned via a Twitter message threatening he will meet the same fate as Dr Narendra Dabholkar

Sharad Pawar and Sanjay Raut (photo: IANS)
Sharad Pawar and Sanjay Raut (photo: IANS)


A political storm was kicked up in Maharashtra again as two top Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders -- Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut -- received fresh death threats from unknown persons, in Mumbai on Friday.

Sharad Pawar has been warned via a Twitter message threatening he will meet the same fate as Dr Narendra Dabholkar (the rationalist who was shot dead in Pune in August 2013), sending shockwaves in political circles.

Moving swiftly, the state police's Cyber Cell has tracked down the purported suspect, Saurabh Pimpalkar to Amravati, a local history-sheeter, who made the Twitter threat, and now he is being probed.

In a telephonic threat issued through Sunil Raut, MLA, his brother, Sanjay Raut, MP has been served an ultimatum to stop his 'morning loudspeakers' within a month failing which he would be "sprayed with bullets".

Sanjay Raut pointed an accusing finger at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and alleged that the threats to him and Pawar are 'stage-sponsored', and said the state government took no action in the previous threats he had received.

The unknown caller, speaking in a menacing tone, even warned a similar fate to Sunil Raut if his elder sibling (Sanjay Raut) failed to stop his 'morning loudspeakers' (daily morning media interactions), and "we shall send you both to the crematorium".

Taking strong umbrage, NCP MP Supriya Sule called on Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar and lodged a complaint seeking a probe and strict action in the matter, while Raut has shot off a letter to the police on the threats he received.

An agitated Sule warned that if anything happens to her father, "then the state home department (headed by Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis) shall be held responsible for it".

She also drew the attention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the development even as many NCP leaders slammed the government and demanded immediate action.

State BJP President Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the threat to Pawar is a matter of concern and urged the police to take urgent action in the matter.

A grim Fadnavis said that such threats will not be tolerated in a progressive Maharashtra and later called the CoP (Commissioner of Police) for a meeting on the issue.

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) President Prakash Ambedkar said the state government must take these threats seriously and act on them.

"Power comes and goes... Whichever government may be ruling, the people and the leaders cannot be put at risk in this manner," cautioned Ambedkar.

Other NCP seniors, including Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, state President Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Anil Deshmukh, and other leaders slammed the government for their failure to prevent the regular threats faced by the Opposition parties and their top functionaries.

Both Pawar and Raut are considered the chief architects of the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena (UBT) MVA alliance which ruled for over 30 months till the former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was toppled in June 2022.

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