Five persons, including a minor boy, wanted for the murder of a local Shiv Sena leader in suburban Malad on Tuesday night, were arrested on Wednesday, police said.
Ramesh Jadhav, the Sena leader from Malad had been allegedly stabbed to death with sharp weapons outside his residence on Tuesday night by the attackers after he intervened and tried to stop them from fighting with another group, which included a woman, police said.
The fight broke out between the two groups after the accused allegedly thrashed the woman. When Jadhav intervened to stop, they carried out a fatal assault on him with sharp weapons.
"All the five accused, including a 17-year-old minor, who stayed in the same locality, were tracked down from their hideouts and arrested today (Wednesday)," additional police commissioner (North Region) Kishore Jadhav said.
However, the officer refused to divulge the names of the accused, citing a Maharashtra government circular barring the police from disclosing to the media the identity and photograph of an accused during the probe. The circular had been issued following a Bombay High Court order.
According to Dindoshi police, Jadhav, who ran an imitation jewellery business and was a resident of Gangaram Chawl at Kot Dongri, had tried to mediate and calm down the clashing groups over a trivial local issue last evening.
"While trying to bring peace, Jadhav disapproved the accused party's assault on the woman. This enraged the group members, who attacked Jadhav with sharp objects. Subsequently, they fled from the scene. The victim succumbed to injuries en route to a civic hospital," said another officer.
Tension prevailed in Malad and Dindoshi areas after the murder, as scores of Sena workers held demonstrations demanding immediate arrest of the accused.
Following the incident, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria visited the police station and personally reviewed the situation.
A number of police teams had been constituted and the accused were tracked down from different locations in Mumbai and a town in Thane district during an intense overnight search, Kishore said, adding that further probe was on.
The episode reminded a chilling incident occurred in October 2011, when two young men, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes, had been killed after they fought a group of goons who had made indecent gestures against one of their female friends outside a suburban Andheri restaurant.