Union minister Ramdas Athawale was slapped by his own party worker at a public event in Umabai Colony in Ambernath in Maharashtra on Saturday, as per the police. The attacker has been identified as Pravin Gosavi.
Following the slap, Athawale's supporters including BJP workers thrashed Gosavi brutally. Gosavi belongs to the youth wing of Republican Party of India.
In the video, it can be seen that at least 10-15 men gang-up on the attacker and rain slaps and punches on him. Gosavi is seen dragged by the men while they are hitting him. The beating continues till Gosavi has fallen on the ground and is lying motionless.
Gosavi has been shifted to the state-run JJ hospital in Mumbai after receiving initial treatment in Ambernath, police said. The police has taken him into custody. An FIR has been filed against him.
Gosavi had slapped him when he coming down from the stage. Athawale, was protected by his bodyguards atfer the incident. The motive behind the attack is not known and police are investigating the matter.
The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment has left for Mumbai after the incident. He has said that the attack was a grave matter and should be investigated. He also blamed the police for the lapse in the security adding that he will meet CM Devendra Fadnavis to discuss the incident.
"I'm a popular leader, this might have been done at behest of someone angry over something. This would not have happened if the police did their duty. This is a serious matter and the police should look into it and they should ensure that this does not happen again. It was their responsibility to make sure that a Union Minister with Z-security protection is safe. I'll meet the CM over this incident. It should be investigated. I do not suspect anybody for the attack.
(With inputs from agencies)