NCP workers protest ED case against Sharad Pawar
Mumbai: Workers of the Nationalist Congress Party on Wednesday staged protests against registration of a money laundering case against party supremo Sharad Pawar in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra.
A shut-down was observed in Baramati, Pawar's hometown.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case against Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others in connection with an alleged scam at Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.
NCP activists, led by the party's youth wing's state unit chief Mehboob Shaikh, gathered outside the ED office here and shouted slogans against the ruling BJP and the government.
Shaikh said the police baton-charged them.
"The ED has filed a case against Pawar because of the huge response his campaign rallies received. The ED is being used to stifle the voice of opposition leaders ahead of the election," Shaikh said.
Five NCP activists were detained and taken to Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Marg police station, a police official said.
"Since the protesters were reluctant to leave, the police had to use force to disperse them," he added.
The ED's case is based on an FIR registered by the Mumbai police against former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who is a former chairman of the bank, and 70 of its former officials or office-bearers.
The development came ahead of the assembly elections in the state on October 21.
A police official said a total shut-down was observed in Baramati, as well as in neighbouring Indapur, both in Pune district.
NCP workers staged protests at Kranti Chowk in Aurangabad city, in Naupada area of Thane, at Niphad in Nashik district and in Shivaji Chowk at Parli in Beed district.
Protesters burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Sinnar in Nashik district.
In Solapur, police detained several protesters in Sadar Bazar area and released them later.
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