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Ambedkarite Activist Tries to Slap Ramdas Athawale, in Hospital After Severe Beating by Minister's Men

Ramdas Athawale, Union minister for social justice and RPI party chief, was slapped by one Praveen Gosavi on Saturday night, following which the party workers called for a statewide bandh.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:December 9, 2018, 11:20 AM IST

Mumbai: Ramdas Athawale, Union minister for social justice and RPI party chief, was assaulted at a public program in Maharashtra's Ambarnath, triggering protests by members of Republican Party of India (Athawale), who have called for a statewide bandh on Sunday.

The accused, identified as Praveen Gosavi, tried to slap the minister while he was walking down the stage during the Constitution Day function on Saturday, following which the party workers quickly moved Gosavi away from Athawale and thrashed him before handing him over to the police. The accused was admitted at a civic hospital for treatment and was later moved to JJ Hospital.

Reacting to the incident, Athawale later said that he will meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and demand an inquiry into it.

He is believed to be an Ambedkarite worker, who allegedly held a grouse against the minister as he thought that Athawale was using the community's name for his personal benefit. The procedure of arrest went on till the wee hours of Sunday. The youth has been arrested under section 353 (obstructing government servant) of the IPC.

According to news agency ANI, scores of RPI (A) workers assembled outside Athawale's residence with party flags, raising slogans. Furthermore, one of the leaders, Kakasaheb Khambalkar, claimed that the attack was "pre-planned." "It was a pre-planned attack. The mastermind should be nabbed. We've called for a Maharashtra bandh today," he told reporters here.

This is not the first time that Athawale was publicly assaulted. He was assaulted by residents of Ghatkopar east after the Ramabai Colony firing incident in 1997.

| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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