MUMBAI: Calling Pranav Dhanawade the "pride of India", Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the alleged beating up of the young cricketer was "bad" if true, and he would talk to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis over the issue.
He had also opined that playgrounds should not be used for the landing of choppers. As the incident triggered controversy, Javadekar clarified that it's administration's prerogative to finalise spot for landing of helicopter of a minister while observing that authorities should be cautious to see that playgrounds and fields are not used as helipads.
"If a youth like Pranav, who is a pride of India, has been beaten up, it is bad. But I don't know whether the police has beaten him or not. If it has, it is definitely bad and I will talk to the (Maharashtra) Chief Minister over the issue," Javadekar told PTI. Dhanawade had shot to fame with record breaking unbeaten 1009 runs in a school match.
The incident happened yesterday when the crickter allegedly objected to the police who had asked him and his friends to vacate Subhash ground in Kalyan in adjoining Thane district where the minister's chopper was supposed to land for today's visit. "As far as my travel is concerned (today), I came by car and I'm going by car so there is no issue on my side.
Whenever we go anywhere by a helicopter, it is the administration which arranges the place of its landing and we are unaware of the spot. They should be cautious to see that playgrounds and fields are not used," Javadekar said. The minister said it was his "clear opinion" that playgrounds should not be used for landing of choppers.
The BJP leader said as far as this particular ground was concerned, he was told that landings and public meetings had taken place there on many occasions. "But I have come by car and I'm going by car. I have not used the helicopter at all," he said. While the ground was handed over to the police for security reasons, the helipad was constructed by the Public Welfare Department.
The row erupted after a guard, on duty to protect the helipad, approached the players and asked them to stop the game, to which Dhanawade and his friends had objected. The cricketer was later taken to Bajarpeth police station in Kalyan and was let off after a warning.