Maharashtra Forest Minister Quits, BJP Alleges He’s Linked To Suicide Case


Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod has resigned from his post after the opposition BJP linked him to a 23-year-old woman’s alleged death by suicide in Pune. He said he has resigned because of “dirty politics”.

The woman, Pooja Chavan, native of Maharashtra’s Beed district, had been living in Pune with her brother and his friends to pursue an English-speaking course. The police had said the woman allegedly died by suicide on February 8.

Two days after her death, an audio clip surfaced on social media in which two men are talking about the woman’s death. The BJP claims one of the men in the audio clip is Mr Rathod.

Mr Rathod has denied the charge.

The police last week said though she appeared to die by suicide, they were investigating it as a criminal case.

The BJP has alleged that Mr Rathod is linked to the woman’s mysterious death. The party had been demanding his arrest.

“Minister with serious allegations in Pooja Chavan suicide case should resign! The BJP protested against this by burning a statue of Sanjay Rathore in Beed district,” BJP Maharashtra tweeted last week.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had also hit out at the Maharashtra government over the death.

“There is ample evidence against Sanjay Rathod but nothing is happening. If media reports had not come out then nothing would have happened. Are we heading towards a banana republic? The police are under pressure. First, there has to be an investigation on the police itself,” Mr Fadnavis said last week.

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