Maharashtra farmers’ protest: Police arrest four and book 500, including sarpanch in Kalyan | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra farmers’ protest: Police arrest four and book 500, including sarpanch in Kalyan

Mumbai city news: The four men arrested are residents of Nevali naka, Kalyan. The police said they have not revealed their identities as investigations are ongoing. The police said the main suspect was Chainu Jadhav, a sarpanch who is also an active member of the Jamin Bachav Andolan Samiti

mumbai Updated: Jun 24, 2017 23:00 IST
Arvind Walmiki
After the arrests, villagers said they were scared to leave their homes, claiming the police were picking up people at random and taking them to the police station.
After the arrests, villagers said they were scared to leave their homes, claiming the police were picking up people at random and taking them to the police station.(HT)

Two days after violent protests by farmers in Kalyan, the police on Saturday arrested four people and registered six cases against a village sarpanch and 500 unidentified men at two police stations. They said they made the arrests after questioning more than 200 residents of seven villages involved in the protest.

The four men arrested are residents of Nevali naka, Kalyan. The police said they have not revealed their identities as investigations are ongoing. The four will be produced in court soon. The police said the main suspect was Chainu Jadhav, a sarpanch who is also an active member of the Jamin Bachav Andolan Samiti.

On Thursday morning more than 6,500 villagers gathered for what was supposed to be a silent protest. However, the protest quickly turned violent and the protesters assaulted policemen, set seven police vans on fire, and locked traffic. It took the police six hours to bring the situation under control.

After the arrests, villagers said they were scared to leave their homes, claiming the police were picking up people at random and taking them to the police station. S Bhoir, 29, a farmer from Nevali naka, said, “Every night we hear the police making rounds of our villages, picking up and questioning people. They questioned a relative of mine but let him off as he was not involved in the violence. Those who have been arrested are from Bhal village.”

He added, “After the incident there was a meeting in the village in which we were told to stay out of trouble and let the police do their work. We have been told by the sarpanch that there is meeting scheduled with the chief minister for June 29. After that, we will discuss out next steps.”

Another resident of Nevali naka, who works for a private firm, said, “We are scared now. It is all the fault of the police, who forced us to move out of our farms. Without them won’t be able to earn a living. This has affected many farmers and some even plan to move out of the village. We have been living here for 50 years but are now being displaced.”

An officer from the Thane crime branch said, “We have questioned more than 200 villagers and have some few leads on suspects who are on the run. There are still 200 policemen at the spot 24 hours a day. We are also making a list of people who are missing. While many villagers claim their relatives were not involved the violence we are leaving no stone unturned.”

A dozen teams, which include crime branch officers, are investigating the case. A separate team has been formed to scour photos and videos of the protest shot by policemen.

Sunil Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police, zone 4, said, “We have identified some of the accused and their locations and have sent teams to arrest them. We are not releasing the names of the four people arrested so far as the investigation is still underway.”

He added, “We checked the vandalised police vans, which had guns and protection equipment, and found that we suffered a loss of Rs 1.50 crore. Seven vehicles were burned down and a few others damaged.”