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Maharashtra: Union minister Ramdas Athawale slapped at public event

Accused detained, in hospital now as he was beaten up by the RPI leader’s supporters; he is said to be a member of Athawale’s Republican Party of India

SNS Web | New Delhi |

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale was allegedly slapped by an agitated youth at a public event in Maharashtra’s Ambernath town on Saturday.

According to police, the incident took place Saturday night when the minister was coming down from the stage. Eyewitnesses said the accused youth, identified as one Pravin Gosavi, lunged at Athawale, pushed and slapped him on the face.

Gosavi was later beaten up by Athawale’s supporters. Athawale’s personal bodyguards and the police then whisked him off from the venue.

According to reports, he had to be shifted to Mumbai’s JJ hospital after initial treatment in Ambernath.

The police said they were investigating the matter.

Appearing a bit shaken, the minister departed for Mumbai shortly after the incident.

While the motive behind the attack is not known yet, Gosavi is said to be an activist of the Republican Party of India, which Athawale heads. RPI is a constituent of the ruling NDA.

(With agency inputs)