MUMBAI: A 19-year-old college girl, who had captured on camera a paani puri vendor urinating in a utensil last month, lodged a complaint against Bharatiya Janata Party Mumbai unit chief Raj Purohit on Thursday. The police have registered a case of outraging the modesty of a woman against Purohit.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had in mid-April attacked North Indians, targeting paani puri and bhelpuri stalls in Mumbai and Thane. Over 300 stalls selling one of Mumbai's favourite snacks were vandalized by MNS activists, protesting against the paani puriwallah who was caught on camera by Ankita Rane in Thane.
"On May 2, Purohit delivered a speech at a protest rally by the Azad Hawkers' Union, when he allegedly made a remark about Rane. She approached the police station and we have registered the complaint, but further verification and inquiries are on," said an officer from the Azad Maidan police station. MNS legislator Bala Nandgaonkar arrived at the police station when the complaint was being registered.
Purohit termed the case as a conspiracy against him. "Since the civic elections are round the corner, it's a conspiracy against the BJP and me, just to create news. My party and I respect women. If I have hurt a woman or some women, I feel sorry for it," Purohit told TOI.
He insisted that he did not say anything about any woman. "If a woman photographs a man urinating, it's not proper. The paani puriwallah who urinated in the utensil should be arrested. But for one's mistake, you cannot target all paani puriwallahs and damage their property. Even the police are not doing anything," said Purohit, adding that if a police inspector, the late Arun Borude, had raped a 15-year-old girl, the entire force cannot be held responsible for it.
Purohit said he did not even know who the complainant was. "I don't know any such woman. I heard her name just now. If her sentiments have been hurt, I feel sorry for it," said Purohit.