Ketaki Chitale, the Marathi actor, has been remanded in judicial custody till May 18 by a Thane Court on Sunday. She was booked on Saturday for allegedly posting derogatory comments on social media aimed at Rajya Sabha member and National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.
The 29-year-old actor has been vocal about several issues including gender equality, patriarchy and also runs an ongoing campaign on the disease of epilepsy called #acceptepilepsy.
On Friday, the actor had posted a poem in Marathi which was attributed to another person, Advocate Nitin Bhave. The poem only mentioned the surname Pawar without the name and reagrding his age 80 and physical ailments which the NCP leader is also suffering from. The poem made derogatory remarks on Pawar’s illness, appearance, voice and also called him corrupt, liar and that he is “jealous of Brahmins”.
As of Sunday afternoon, the post has 11,000 likes and 9,000 comments and has been shared over 650 times.
The Thane crime branch, on Saturday, booked the actor under sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory matter) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code.
She was reportedly detained by the police on Saturday before she was declared arrested.
Earlier, in 2020, Chitale was reportedly booked for a social media post which was allegedly insulting towards the Dalit community. Even before that, the actor allegedly made comments on other religious and also on the Indian ruler Chhatrapti Shivaji that created controversies.
Chitale’s arrest marks the second arrest for making derogatory remarks against Pawar after a 21-year-old student and resident of Nashik district Nikhil Bhamre who is also a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker had also been booked for his tweet.
Without naming Pawar, the tweet read, “Time has come for Baramati’s Gandhi……to create Nathuram Godse of Baramati.”
Baramati in Pune district is Pawar’s birthplace as well as constituency.