More than 300 Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) workers led by their city unit president, Raj Purohit, staged a three-hour protest outside Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society at Colaba on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cuffe Parade police detained 85 protestors, 15 of them women. “We arrested the protestors, but released them after a warning,” said Iqbal Shaikh, assistant commissioner of police (Cuffe Parade). “If the BJP continues to protest we will arrest their workers,” said a Cuffe Parade police officer on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Police said the protestors were demanding immediate police action against the guilty in the “building scam”. The police detained the protestors after they tried to force their way into the building.
BJP workers claimed that not just chief minister Ashok Chavan, but several former state ministers, Union ministers as well as civil and defence officers were involved in the controversy. The protestors demanded their arrest.
“They have committed fraud by acquiring flats meant for widows of war heroes,” said Purohit.
The protestors claimed that the police was a mere puppet of the government. “The police would never arrest a ruling party member who is involved in the matter,” said Purohit. He added said that the Congress was in a position to destroy evidence as it is the ruling party in the state.
He demanded that the 31-storey tower be taken over by the state and handed over to those who have the “legal right to live in it”.