In this open letter, excerpts of which have been published in certain Nagpur newspapers, Dhawad says, “I never spoke anything about the Navodaya Co-operative Bank’s case in media as on one hand I am trying to save Navodaya bank, which certain conspirators have tried to damage, on the other hand, I am fighting certain politically motivated elements, who are trying to embroil me in the case for their vested interests.”
Excerpts of Ashok Dhawad’s open letter:
I am so appalled at the way certain political adversaries of mine are trying their best to malign my reputation for the past few months. They have been trying to defame me by circulating fake and false stories about me being ‘Farar’ or absconding.
Nagpur Today recently published a story on October 26 stating that former MLA Ashok Dhawad, who is absconding, is seen congratulating newly elected Congress MLA from North Nagpur Dr Nitin Raut. Whosoever were behind this story did not only try to defame me but their mala fide intentions of sheening the glory of a senior Congress leader and my colleague Dr Nitin Raut’s victory are quite obvious. Subsequently, a leading Marathi daily also published a false story on October 27 about how cyber cell of Nagpur Police are scouting for me. It is also being claimed that an arrest warrant has been issued for me, whereas, such is not the case.
I have been staying at my residence, which is known to reporters of both the publications but they didn’t bother to check by visiting me or even calling me up. The reporters of both the publications also know my phone number. Neither did they bother to go through the Supreme Court’s order dated October 15, nor did they bother to take opinion of Nagpur Police before publishing such false stories about me. This communique of mine is an appeal to you to not to get misled by them. I don’t want this to be relegated to mere a counter allegation to my political detractors.
The fact of the matter is that calling me a ‘Farar’ or absconding is not only an attempt to criminally defame me but also disregards The Honourable Supreme Court of India, which, on October 15, temporarily gave me protection against arrest. This fact was brought to the notice of the reporters of the said website, who circulated this story, by a senior IPS officer on a public platform. But this reporter still neither took this factually incorrect story down, nor did he make corrections. Isn’t it obvious that this politically motivated and wrong reportage is only to pressurise the police to arrest me despite the Supreme Court order?
My lawyers have suggested me to file a defamation suit against the website for maligning my reputation by publishing this fake story, in which they have addressed to me as absconding. However, my objective is only to lay out facts without indulging in further legal proceedings.
I am in the middle of fighting a legal battle for months in the courts in Navodaya Bank’s case, in which I have been falsely implicated. Being a law-abiding citizen, I didn’t utter a word in media as the case is sub judice and I have complete faith in the judiciary. And I know that eventually, I will get justice in the courts.
But what do I do when I see people maligning my reputation and trying to put pressure on the police by publishing fake stories, which falsely implicates the Nagpur Police as well. I strongly believe that this pressure on the police is an attempt to prejudice them against me.
Here, I would like to tell you that for years, I have successfully governed Navodaya Bank, which has serviced the members, depositors and lenders and earned profits for the stakeholders. However, certain people in key positions in the bank conspired and tried to defraud the bank. We took legal action against them, and some of them have been arrested. Now, I myself have been wrongly implicated in the case. I am pursuing justice for the bank and it’s stakeholders, for which I have dedicatedly worked for years. My intentions are to get all the depositors their due and the bank is financially capable to do the same. However, my implication in the case has only made this endeavour tougher.
I have been able to consistently live up to my clean image in public life for more than 40 years and I am sure that the truth regarding the bank’s case will eventually surface in the court.
I request all of you to not to get influenced by the fake and false stories being circulated by the fringe elements in media, which have colluded with my political adversaries.