By Little Yadav & Manish K Pathak| Agency: DNA –
Women under attack this time from Shiv Sena MLA
In yet another instance of what appears to be a politician trying to throw his weight around, a Shiv Sena MLA from Ambernath, Balaji Kinikar allegedly misbehaved with a female ground staff member of Sri Lankan Airlines last week, while he was heading to Colombo for a function. The police insist they have no information, but sources say Kinikar was drunk, and point out that there is a Sahar police station diary entry on both the incident as well as the fine of Rs1,500 that Kinikar paid after being detained overnight.
According to sources, the scuffle between the saffron politician and the Sri Lankan Airways staff began over tickets that were booked through an agent and did not reflect in the system. Enraged over being sent to another counter, Kinikar reportedly bellowed angrily and reminded the staff of his MLA status. As tempers rose, he allegedly pushed a female staff member and the police were informed. He then allegedly misbehaved with a policewoman too.
Interestingly, the dentist-turned-politician admitted a scuffle had taken place but denied misbehaving with the female ground staff. When DNA spoke to him, he downplayed the incident. “It was just a scuffle. I am well-educated and from a cultured family. How can I misbehave with any woman?” he said.
“I was being harassed. The staff at the counter kept me running around in circles. When I scolded them for treating an MLA like this, they started pushing me. Obviously I retaliated,” Kinikar told DNA.
Kinikar says he was going for the inauguration of a marble-processing factory owned by a friend in Colombo when the incident happened. “We were taken to the police station and let go in the morning after I paid a fine of Rs1,500.” While he has no answer to why he agreed to pay a fine if it was not his fault, the MLA said, “It is such a small incident. Why are you blowing this out of proportion? I am only beginning my political career. Think of how this will ruin it.”
Fellow Shivsainik and Ambernath civic council president Sunil Choudhari, who was in Kinikar’s entourage, also went to great lengths to explain what he called “a minor argument in which except Kinikar none of us were involved.” According to him, “Whatever happened was between the women at the Sri Lankan airways and Kinikar. We were all just waiting.”
Repeated calls and SMSes to the regional additional commissioner of police, Vishwas Nangrepatil went unanswered, while zonal deputy commissioner of police, SN Chaudhary feigned ignorance about any such case in his jurisdiction. The senior police inspector of Sahar police station, Jaiprakash Giram, too, said that there was no such case with them. “We have checked records for the past few days but there is no such case against any such person,” said Chaudhary.