A court in Maharashtra on Wednesday granted bail to Congress MLA Nitesh Rane and 18 of his supporters on a surety of Rs 20,000 each, PTI reported. They were arrested last week and sent to judicial custody on Tuesday for pouring mud on a civic engineer and tying him to a bridge near Kankavli in Sindhudurg district.
The court directed that all the accused including Rane must visit the police station concerned every Sunday for two hours and cooperate with the investigation, said Rane’s lawyer Sangram Desai. The judge also instructed that they must ensure that such incidents do not occur again in future.
On July 4 when the incident took place, Rane, who is the legislator from Kankavli, was inspecting potholes on the Mumbai-Goa highway. He was reportedly upset because of the deteriorating condition of the road.
In a video of the incident, the legislator was seen pushing the engineer, identified as Prakash Shede, while his supporters poured buckets of mud over the official’s head. A group of Rane’s supporters, allegedly belonging to the Swabhiman Sanghatna, were then seen tying up Shede by the side of the bridge.
“Throw it [mud] on him,” Nitesh Rane was heard saying in the video. “Throw it on his head. Now you will understand...What should people do, should they die in front of you? What will happen if the wall collapses?”
Nitesh Rane’s father Narayan Rane, who is a Rajya Sabha MP and former chief minister, had apologised for his son’s conduct.
The incident happened days after a BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh assaulted an official with a cricket bat.
In 2017, Nitesh Rane had thrown a dead fish at the additional commissioner for fisheries in Sindhudurg during a meeting called to discuss problems faced by the fishermen in the Konkan region.