BJP MLA Kardile arrested for vandalism in Ahmednagar SP office near Pune
Two days after Shiv Sena leaders were murdered, Ahmednagar Police have arrested BJP legislator Shivaji Kardile, who along with 30 others have been booked in the case.
Kardile was remanded to one day in police custody by a local court. Effectively, the police custody of 23 people booked in the case will come to an end on Tuesday.
Kardile, member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Ahmednagar, was arrested on Monday after he surrendered before the local police following an FIR against him in murder of Sena leaders as well as for vandalism at the Ahmednagar city police superintendent, Ranjankumar Sharma's office on Saturday.
Earlier on Sunday, local police booked 31 persons and arrested four including Nationalist Congress Party MLA Sangram Jagtap. Jagtap is son-in-law of Kardile, who faces previous police cases against him.
Before his arrest, Kardile, while speaking to local media, said, “I have surrendered. The police department should investigate the matter. Whatever is found in the investigation, we are ready to face it.”
On Saturday, Shiv Sena deputy head in Kedgaon, Sanjay Kotkar and another leader Vasant Thube were killed after being shot and attacked with sharp weapons.
The murder sparked off tension in the Shahunagar area of Kedgaon, and shops and commercial establishments quickly downed their shutters.
Shiv Sena supporters staged a protest at the murder site for hours and blocked the police from removing the bodies, before they eventually relented. Traffic on Pune-Ahmednagar bypass was stopped for a short while after the attack. Sena members held a rasta roko protest on Saturday evening.
The double murder came on the heels of Congress leader Vishal Kotkar winning the civic bypoll for Ward 32 (Kedgaon) of the Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation. The bypoll was necessitated after the former mayor Sandeep Kotkar, also Congress member, was convicted in a 2008 murder case.
Meanwhile, SP Sharma announced formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the double murder of Shiv Sena leaders – Sanjay Keshav Kotkar and Vasant Ananda Thube – on Saturday evening.
Around 250 to 300 people stormed into the SP office premises after the initial arrest in the double murder of Shiv Sena leaders and broke the front door glass of the office while demanding the release of arrested Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Sangram Jagtap. A case under Sections 353, 333, 143, 147, 148, 149, 452, 427, 323, 504 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with Sections 3 and 7 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 was registered against 51 people. Before Kardile surrendered, 22 people, including three lawyers, were remanded to police custody till April 10 in the case.
The SIT will be led by Rohidas Pawar, additional police superintendent of Srirampur, and will include Manish Kalwaniya, assistant superintendent of police of Ahmednagar rural police, Dilip Pawar, police inspector (PI) of Ahmednagar city police local crime branch, Sunil Pawar, PI of Ahmednagar cyber police station and Suresh Sapkale, PI of Ahmednagar city police's Topkhana police station.
The earlier investigation officer in the case, PI Abhay Parmar of Kotwali police station, was dismissed by SP Sharma on Sunday. The announcement to that effect was made by Deepak Kesarkar, Minister of State, Home (rural) at a press conference in Ahmednagar after the last rites of the two deceased men. The investigation officer will now be PI Pawar.