Five Shiv Sainiks, including two shakha pramukhs of the party's Worli Koliwada shakha, were arrested on Tuesday for damaging the civic body's garbage collection and disposal vehicles parked outside its garage and pumping station at Worli late on Monday.
While the police did not officially comment on the reason for the attack, an officer said it could be linked to reports of the impending demolition of Bal Thackeray's makeshift memorial at Shivaji Park. "We are investigating to see if someone sparked off rumours that vehicles parked at the civic body's Worli office would be used for eviction," said a senior officer.
The Worli police had initially stated that 30 youngsters vandalised the BMC's garage around 10.45pm on Monday, but Praveen Salunkhe, ACP (central region), clarified that the waste dumpers and JCBs were damaged by six to eight men who came on bikes.
"Following a tip-off, the five accused were arrested. They are all residents of Worli and Lower Parel and are reportedly members of Shiv Sena," Salunke said.
Of the five arrested, Jivba Kesarkar, 38, and Gautam Man-charde, 38, have been indepen-dently identified as shaka pramukhs; the others include San-tosh Belose, 35, Sandeep War-kade, 29, and Deepak Saaple, 31.
The accused, booked for rioting and damaging public property, will be presented in court on Wednesday.
The BMC has now decided to strengthen the security around its vital installations and properties. It has also decided to recover Rs88,000 from the accused for the damages incurred.