Soc chairman chides resident over caste
Several society members voiced out support for Vishwajit Kirtikar (top) by putting up flexes. They were pulled down by the society chairman, Milind Patil (below), who has been booked by cops.
He was also thrashed during meeting where water woes were being discussed.
A routine society meeting to discuss and formulate a possible solution for water woes took a sour turn for a 54- year-old, who was attacked by the chairman for voicing out his opinions. The ordeal escalated when abuses were hurled at him, based on his caste.
The incident took place at Bharati Vijar Society in Katraj, where complainant Vishwajit Kirtikar has been staying for two decades. Before this incident — which took place on March 31 — he has never been embroiled in a fight or a chaotic situation. However, the assault has left him “depressed” to the extent that he “cannot live with dignity for someone else’s fault”, he claimed.
An FIR has been filed in the Bharati Vidyapeeth police station on April 5. Chairman of the society Milind
Narayan Patil, has been booked under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Kirtikar told Mirror, “This was not the first time that my caste was brought up during discussions, when it had to do nothing with the actual issue.”
The problem pertained to unequal distribution of water in the society since a couple of months. However, the chairman and his friends, who reside in A-wing and B-wing, receive water 24 hours, he claimed, adding, “To discuss this matter, a society meeting was called and when I started pointing out the glitches in the management, Patil slapped and kicked me.”
Calling it “humiliation”, Kirtikar said that he requested others to not meddle in the issue and refrain from the raging incident. “I did not attack him back as it would have added to the already growing problem. Patil then brought up my caste, saying that I belong to a scheduled caste category and do not deserve to live in society. I was further asked to bring a person who would support me — as it did not matter or scare him,” he said.
Kirtikar could garner substantial backing from his family and support groups within the society. Senior citizens and women together put up a flex board announcing their support, only to be removed by the chairman, before it gathered steam.
A resident of the society Sunil Pawar, who is backing Kirtikar, said, “His only fault was that he spoke against the unjust practice that had been prevailing in the society. We feel that someone should have spoken about it a long time ago. I was a witness to what transpired after Kirtikar voiced his opinion on March 31. He has served as the former chairman and knows how the management functions. Patil has been on in trouble on several occasions because of society matters and has the demeanour of a goon.”
Kirtikar also claimed that when he approached Bharati Vidyapeeth police immediately after the incident, he was turned down and asked to compromise with the accused.
Assistant commissioner of police (Swargate division) Vishweshwar Nandedkar said, “We are still investigating the matter. As of now, no one has been arrested. We are in the process of gathering witnesses in order to get a better perspective and also checking the CCTV footage. Patil is not in town due to personal reasons. He will have to return soon so that the case can progress.”