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Sena leader in hospital

mumbai Updated: Feb 18, 2010 01:39 IST
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Senior Shiv Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar, who was arrested during the 1993 Mumbai riots, was hospitalised on Wednesday after he suffered a heart attack at his Bandra residence.

The 75-year-old is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Hinduja Hospital, Mahim. “He is critical,” said Dr Gustad Davar, medical director, Hinduja Hospital. He said Sarpotdar did not undergo any surgery.

The fiery Sena veteran, who headed the party’s labour wing, was indicted by the Srikrishna Commission — formed to probe the 1993 riots--for inciting communal violence. Sarpotdar was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment in 2008 after being convicted for his role in the 1993 riots. However, he was granted bail as he had challenged his conviction in the sessions court.

The army had arrested Sarpotdar in Bandra on January 11, 1993, for illegal possession of arms. The army found three handguns, two of which did not have licences, choppers, and sticks from his jeep.

The former member of Parliament also served as a legislator for two terms. His son, Atul, and daughter-in-law, Shilpa, quit the Sena and joined Raj Thackeray when he founded the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2006.

“My father is stable and is currently under observation,” said Atul who was touring the Konkan with Thackeray but rushed to Mumbai on Wednesday.

A close associate of Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Sarpotdar was once known for arming the saffron party with muscle power. His influence stemmed from his associations with the Sena’s labour unions, which helped the party gain popularity among the labour class.