Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has received a “death threat” on social media, NCP claimed on Friday and appealed to party workers to maintain “peace at all costs”.
Taking cognisance of the matter, Mumbai police are in the process of registering a first information report, a senior police official said.
A delegation of NCP workers led by Pawar’s daughter and Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule met Mumbai police chief Vivek Phansalkar demanding action.
The NCP leaders told the police that 82-year-old Pawar received a message on social media that read “he will meet the same fate as (Narendra) Dabholkar soon”.
Narendra Dabholkar, who fought against superstitious beliefs, was shot dead by two bike-borne assailants during his morning walk in Pune on August 20, 2013.
Sule submitted printouts of the screenshots of the death threat to the police.
A senior police official told PTI that they have been informed about the threat to the NCP chief on a social media platform.
“We are looking into it. We have started a probe,” the official said.
NCP had sent a representative to lodge a police complaint, the official said. “The police are in the process of registering an FIR in this connection at South Region Cyber police station,” he added.
Meanwhile, senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said the threat message was sent by one Saurav Pimpalkar whose social medial profile says he is a BJP supporter.
Instead of misusing the freedom of expression, one should fight the ideological battle in a dignified manner, he said talking to reporters.
Ajit Pawar, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, said social media platforms are being deliberately misused to malign political leaders, post fake news and create divisions in society.
As the news about the threat to “Pawar saheb” spread, anxious NCP workers began calling senior leaders about his safety, said party spokesperson Mahesh Tapase. He said that a threat to the NCP chief is a threat to secularism.
“We have instructed our workers to maintain peace at all costs,” he said.
Secularism is the soul of “Pawar saheb”. “Nobody can force saheb to change his secular stand and he is not at all affected by such threats,” Tapase said.
Now, the onus is on the government, he said. “It is to be seen whether the government will promote secularism and uphold the Constitution or give a free hand to the killers of Dabholkar,” said the NCP leader.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.