Union Minister Ramdas Athawale attacked by youth in Maharashtra; RPI (A) calls state-wide bandh in protest

Ramdas Athawale was slapped by a youth at a function in Ambernath town late on Saturday.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale attacked by youth in Maharashtra; RPI (A) calls state-wide bandh in protest

THANE: A youth pushed and allegedly assaulted Union Minister of State and Republican Party of India (RPI-A) chief Ramdas Athawale at an event in the Ambernath town late on Saturday.

The shocking incident took place after the Minister came down to interact with the gathering after addressing a meeting when a youth suddenly lunged at him, pushed and slapped him on the face, according to eyewitnesses.

Even as some supporters rushed to the Minister's aid, pushed the attacker away from him and roughed him up, Athawale's personal bodyguards and police security pinned him down and whisked off from the venue.

The youth, who was identified as Pravin Gosavi, was brutally thrashed by the crowd and later detained by the police.

Gosavi is being treated at a nearby hospital. 

Though the real motive behind the attack is not known, the youth is said to be an activist of the Republican Party of India (A), headed by Athawale, which is also a constituent of the ruling NDA.

A video of RPI (A) chief's supporters thrashing the youth also came to fore.  

Though appearing a bit shaken by the incident, the Minister departed for Mumbai shortly thereafter, while the youth was detained by police for investigations.

Republican Party of India (A) members gathered in front of Ramdas Athawale's residence soon after the news of the attack on him spread like a wildfire.

A senior RPI leader said, "It was a pre-planned attack. The mastermind of the attack on Athawale should be immediately nabbed. We've called for a Maharashtra Bandh on Sunday."

A case has been registered in connection with the attack on RPI (A) chief and police have begun its investigation into the matter.

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