BJP's Kirit Somaiya alleges attack by '100 Sena goons': 'Wanted to kill me'
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged that he was assaulted at a Mumbai police station in the presence of cops.
Mumbai saw yet another political controversy overnight hours after the arrest of an MP-MLA couple - amid standoff with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray - as the BJP's Kirit Somaiya alleged an attack by Shiv Sena workers. In a series of tweets, the 68-year-old leader claimed that nearly 100 Sena workers assaulted him and they "wanted to kill me". While he said the police did not take any action, cops later stated a case was filed over his complaint.
"I am shocked, in presence 50 police persons, in the compound/campus of Khar Police Station, Shivsena's 100 Gundas assault me with stones, Wanted to kill me. What the police commissioner is doing? How so many Mafia Sena Gundas allowed to gathered in police station? (sic)" he posted in one of the tweets.
In another post, the BJP leader was seen with blood on his face. "This is the 3rd time Uddhav Thackeray's Gundas tried to KILL Me, first at Vashim than Pune & now at Police Station (Khar Mumbai) itself (sic)," he alleged.
The tweets and the allegations came after he protested the arrest of Maharashtra MLA Ravi Rana and his wife and Amravati MP Navneet Kaur. The MP-MLA couple had warned they would chant "Hanuman Chalisa" - a hymn in the praise of the Hindu God - outside the chief minister's private house - 'Matoshree'. The warning led to huge police security deployment outside Matoshree, massive protests by Sena workers outside the home of the couple, and the subsequent arrest of both the leaders even as the MLA said he would back off in a day full of political high drama.
Somaiya shared pictures on Saturday of his protest at Dharavi against the state government and then tweeted: "Started from Dharavi, going to Khar Police Station to meet #navneetravirana (sic)."
"Mumbai Police has refused to lodge my FIR. Instead, they lodged a bogus FIR stating that only one stone was hurled. As many as 70-80 Shiv Sainiks attacked me. No action has been taken by Khar Police despite intimation," he told news agency ANI.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Manjunath Shinge, however, said a case was filed based on Somaiya's complaint. "A case was registered on the basis of his complaint. The investigation will be fair and impartial," he assured.
Yet the claims have triggered a fresh row between the BJP and the Sena. "I will speak with the home secretary and the home minister today over the attack on Kirit Somaiya and will also write a letter to take action against the police, who are working as political workers," former chief minister and the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis said. "Despite Kirit Somaiya informing (the) Khar Police prior about the possibility of an attack and seeking Z protection, the police did not take any action. Instead, they permitted Shiv Sena goons to carry out the attack under the state government pressure."
According to the Mumbai Police, the Ranas have booked under the Indian Penal Code 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and section 135 (violation of prohibitory orders of police) of the Maharashtra Police Act.’
India's financial capital has witnessed two major political controversies within 24 hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit on Sunday to receive an award instituted in the memory of late singer Lata Mangeshkar.
(With inputs from ANI)