2 killed in scuffle at Ganesh pandal | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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2 killed in scuffle at Ganesh pandal

A scuffle at a Ganesh mandal in Masjid Bunder, two days before the end of the festival, led to the death of two members of the mandal.

mumbai Updated: Sep 22, 2010 01:06 IST
HT Correspondent

A scuffle at a Ganesh mandal in Masjid Bunder, two days before the end of the festival, led to the death of two members of the mandal.

Sharad Matekar and his brother, Bharat, members of the Mandvi Rahivasi Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal were killed on Monday night.

The Pydhonie police have arrested three people for the murders. The incident took place at the mandal’s Ganesh pandal at Mandvi.

The mandal is celebrating its golden jubilee year and had planned a satyanarayan puja on Tuesday.

At 11.30pm on Monday, 36-year-old Matekar, the mandal’s president, and Bharat (35) were preparing for the puja with other members.

The police said one of the accused, Santosh Punekar (34), interrupted them and started arguing with the mandal members because his father, Bandu Punekar’s, name was missing from the mandal’s annual booklet.

“Santosh was under the influence of alcohol and began shouting. We apologised to him for forgetting to add his father’s name and assured him we’ll do it next time,” Vikas Khichade, the mandal’s cashier who witnessed the incident, said. “We pushed Santosh aside and continued our work.”

Santosh went to his building and called his nephew, Navinchandra Bhole (19), who began arguing with the members,” hichade said.

The argument turned into a fight.

Bhole, who was carrying a knife, allegedly slashed Matekar and his brother as the Punekar brothers assaulted them with bamboo sticks and a chopper, police said.

Matekar and Bharat were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were declared dead on arrival.

The other members of the mandal informed the Pydhonie police, who arrived at the spot. The police traced the accused with the help of informers and arrested them an hour later.

Senior police inspector Shamsher Pathan said, “We have arrested the trio for murder and assault with deadly weapons.” The Matekar brothers had been working for the mandal for 15 years.

Sharad Matekar ran a telephone booth and Bharat owned an embroidery workshop. The mandal has decided to keep the immersions on Wednesday low key, Khichade said.