Assaulted cop tells Home Min he was never in Assembly gallery

The policeman assaulted by several legislators in Vidhan Bhawan premises, today told Home Minister R R Patil that he was never in the visitor's gallery of the Legislative Assembly, as claimed by the law makers.

"31-year-old Sachin Suryawanshi, who is undergoing treatment at the St George hospital in south Mumbai told this to Patil when he went there to enquire about his health," sources close to the Home Minister told PTI.

"Suryawanshi told Patil that he had visited Vidhan Bhawan as per a directive from Council Deputy Chairman Vasant Davkhare, but did not enter the visitor's gallery," they said.
The legislators, including Vasai MLA Kshitij Thakur and Ram Kadam (MNS), have based their "defence" on the policeman's alleged "insulting gestures and words from the gallery," sources said.

"How can he gesture at them when he was not present in the gallery," they said.
The video footage available with Vidhan Bhawan authorities also substantiates Suryawanshi's claims that he was not present in the gallery, sources said.

"Suryawanshi, in his statement to police, has said he was attacked by the legislators at around 12.30 PM yesterday after he had come out of Davkhare's office on the first floor and was sitting on a bench, about to leave for the canteen," sources said.
The policeman has alleged that the legislators, notably, Kadam, threatened to kill him, they said.

Police have registered an FIR against Thakur, Kadam and "14-15 others wearing green and red badges," they said.

The members of Assembly wear green badges and Council members wear red badges.
The accused have been booked under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation), sources added.

Suryawanshi, in his statement to police, said when he stopped the vehicle of Kshitij Thakur on Monday at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link as it was speeding at 101 km per hour, the MLA, who was on his way to attend the Legislature session, hurled abuse at him, sources said.

"This action by the legislators, notably the named accused, has hurt the prestige of the Maharashtra Legislature and they face suspension," they said.

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