A student alleged that Vinod Tawde ordered his arrest when he was recording a conversation. (file photo)
Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde faced flak after he was accused of ordering the "arrest" of an undergraduate student for recording a conversation between him and a fellow student.
The student, Yuvraj Dabad, alleged that following the order, the local police detained him for a couple of hours and seized his smartphone. The incident has drawn sharp reactions on Twitter, including from Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, whose party shares power with Mr Tawde's party, the BJP, in the state.
Every student must read this. "The education minister of Maharashtra directs cops to arrest student". Why? Because he was shooting an interaction! No tough questions please!
They want Youth only to man their electoral booths, not answer questions about education & jobs. pic.twitter.com/X7iv7XZzLs
– Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) January 5, 2019
The incident allegedly took place after Mr Tawde inaugurated an elocution competition at a college in Amravati. The minister was leaving after his speech at the event, when some students approached him, seeking his response on a free-education policy.
"I was told by Education Minister Vinod Tawde to start working somewhere if I could not afford the educational expenses" said Prashant Rathod, who was rebuked by the minister.
Mr Tawde then asked Yuvraj Dabad to turn off the video-recording of the interaction. When he refused, the minister asked the police to arrest him, Rathod was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Yuvraj Dabad said he declined the minister's order because "he (Tawde) was not answering our queries".
"We were simply asking questions to him and seeking his views," he told reporters.
"As Tawde ordered the police to arrest me, I was taken out of the college premises and detained for some time. My handset was returned after a couple of hours," Yuvraj Dabad said.
The minister has not reacted to the allegations.
With additional inputs from PTI