Fadnavis accuses Uddhav govt of helping drug kingpin Lalit Patil


Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the Uddhav Thackeray government of helping drug kingpin Lalit Patil who was arrested on Tuesday after his escape on October 2 from Pune’s Sassoon General Hospital.
Fadnavis alleged that when Uddhav Thackeray’s government was in power the public prosecutor did not oppose Lalit Patil’s stay in hospital. He also said that Lalit Patil was made Nashik District Chief of Shiv Sena by Uddhav Thackeray.
“Shivsena of Uddhav Thackeray had made him(Lalit Patil) Nashik city president. When he was arrested his Police custody was sought. When he was sent to Police custody, he was admitted to Sassoon Hospital and the prosecutor of that time didn’t even oppose his Hospital stay. And after 14 days he was sent to judicial custody. So when he was arrested, he was not even interrogated by police. How will the case proceed?” Fadnavis asked.
Lalit Patil was behind the multi-crore mephedrone racket that was busted by the Pimpri-Chinchwad police in 2020. He was arrested from Chennai on Tuesday night.
Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said that the arrest of Lalit Patil by the Mumbai police will reveal “a big nexus” in the State.
Pune Police arrested two women from Nashik on Thursday in connection with the Lalit Patil drug mafia case and produced them before the Pune Sessions Court which sent them to police custody till October 23. Police detained both the female accused on Wednesday evening and presented them before the court on Thursday.
As per defence lawyer Tejas Punekar, Pune Police informed the court that the two arrested accused identified as Archana Nikam and Pragya Kamble, were close associates of the main accused Lalit Patil. When Lalit Patil absconded from Sassoon Hospital, Archana gave financial help to Lalit Patil with Rs 25 lakh and the duo helped Patil to hide.
Police custody of both the accused has been obtained by the police from court and further investigation has been started to find out what and how much role they played in this whole matter.
The same defence lawyer Advocate Tejas Punekar, who was arguing for Archana Nikam in court, said that the police had completed the search at Archana’s house and had also called her for questioning several times, and his client is cooperating with police in the investigation.
Hence there is no need for custodial interrogation, the court heard the arguments of both the parties and sent both the accused to police remand till 23rd October.