Controversial Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide has been found guilty of violating the law with his "mangoes for sons" remarks and will be dragged to court by the Nashik civic body.
An advisory committee of the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has found Bhide guilty of violating the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) with his remarks, an official said today.
Bhide had last month claimed a number of couples were blessed with sons after eating mangoes from his orchard.
"Mangoes are powerful and nutritious. Some women who ate mangoes of my garden have given birth to sons," Bhide had said, addressing a gathering in Nashik.
The RSS trained activist's remarks drew flak from various quarters and the Additional Director of Health, Pune, had asked the NMC to look into the matter after receiving a complaint against Bhide from a member of the Ahmednagar civic body's committee on the PCPNDT Act.
Accordingly, the committee, which works under the NMC's health department, probed the matter and submitted a report to the civic commissioner yesterday, said J Z Kothari, NMC's medical superintendent.
The panel had served a notice to Bhide, seeking his explanation, but he did not appear before it, committee members said.
Bhide was found guilty of violating section 22 of the PCPNDT Act (prohibition of advertisement relating to preconception and pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention), Kothari said, quoting from the report.
The advisory committee has decided to file a case against Bhide in a local court under the Act, he said.
Bhide, who heads the Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, is an accused in the January 1 Bhima-Koregaon caste violence case.The Bhima-Koregaon violence led to the declaration of a Bandh in Maharashtra on Wednesday by Dalit groups. While Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a CID investigation on the violence in Bhima Koregaon on January 1 that left one dead and several injured, news reports have pointed to pro-Hindutva groups as responsible for the agitation.
Two major names that are standing out are Sambhaji Bhide, a former RSS worker and Milind Ekbote, a former BJP corporator from Pune.
A case was registered against Ekbote, Bhide, and others after a complaint filed by a political activist who accused them of inciting violence that resulted in an attack against her.
Police Inspector V V Munglikar who confirmed that a case was filed under Section 307 amounting to attempt to murder and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Munglikar said investigations are currently going on but he cannot confirm if any arrests would be made as they are yet to gather evidence of the involvement of the accused in the attacks.
It is important to note that 85-year old Sambhaji Bhide, has PM Modi, Uddhav Thackeray & Devendra Fadnavis among his admirers.