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Maharashtra Minister Linked to Woman's Death in Pune Attends Cabinet Meet

File photo of Sanjay Rathod

File photo of Sanjay Rathod

Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod had emerged in public on Tuesday when he visited the Pohradevi temple in Washim district of Vidarbha region.

Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod, whose name is being linked to the death of a woman in Pune, on Wednesday attended the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray here. Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik gave this information after the meeting that was held at the Sahyadri Guest House here.

Forest Minister Rathod, who had allegedly disappeared for some days following allegations against him, had emerged in public on Tuesday when he visited the Pohradevi temple in Washim district of Vidarbha region. When Rathod paid a visit to the temple, scores of people had turned up near the temple in an apparent violation of COVID-19 norms.

”Honourable minister Sanjay Rathod ji was present for the cabinet meeting. He came after several days…I think he has somewhere resumed attending meetings,” Malik said. To a question about NCP chief Sharad Pawar conveying his displeasure over the massive gathering near the temple in violation of COVID-19 norms, Malik said he has no information about the Maratha strongman doing so.

He also said that the issue was not discussed in the cabinet meeting. ”The chief minister has already given order to probe reason behind the gathering, whether any leader, political party or minister had appealed (the people) to come together.

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”Its report will come from the Superintendent of Police,” Malik said. He, however, said it was ”not right” for the people to converge on large-scale when restriction on big gathering is in place in the state in view of the COVID-19 situation.

”The chief minister will definitely take action against those responsible (for the gathering) after the report comes,” he added. Some social media posts and the opposition BJP in the state had alleged that Rathod was connected to the death of the 23-year-old woman.

The woman died after falling from a building in Hadapsar area of Pune on February 8.

first published:February 24, 2021, 20:08 IST