Two senior Shiv Sena leaders, who were booked for inciting violence during a shutdown called by the party in Pune on Tuesday, were granted bail on Thursday. Milind Narvekar, personal assistant of Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, and legislative council member Neelam Gorhe, who were named in the FIR registered against them on Wednesday, were remanded to judicial custody till January 12.
The Sena, along with the BJP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, had called the bandh to protest the removal of a statue of Dadoji Konddeo, Shivaji’s teacher, by the Pune Municipal Corporation from the historic Lal Mahal, which is the memorial to Shivaji’s mother Jijabai.
The shutdown, which evoked a mixed response, saw Sena activists involve in vandalism and violence. Thirteen state transport buses were torched and 50 damaged. Activists disrupted traffic on the Mumbai-Pune highway and even stopped two trains in Lonavala.
The police had detained 375 political activists for the violence on Tuesday. However, no senior leader was booked.
But Narvekar and Gorhe were kept under surveillance to get leads on the violence. They then booked the two Sena leaders after tapping their phone conversations.
During their conversation, Narvekar allegedly instructed Gorhe to incite violence by damaging buses, setting trucks on fire and blocking the Pune-Mumbai highway.
According to the FIR, the phone call was allegedly made around 11:56pm on Monday.
Narvekar, who enjoys immense clout in the party because of his proximity to Thackeray, refused to comment.
Gorhe said she would put her side of the story to the judiciary and the party.
The BJP and the Sena termed the phone tapping “illegal”.