Congressman arrested in Ahmednagar Shiv Sena leaders’ double murder
Sanjay Kotkar, deputy chief of Shiv Sena in Ahmednagar, and Vasant Thube, a party leader, were murdered after being shot and attacked with sharp weapons in Shahunagar on April 7.pune Updated: Apr 25, 2018 15:04 IST
Vishal Kotkar, the newly elected Congress corporator from Kedgaon in Ahmednagar and prime suspect in the Shiv Sena leaders double murder case, was arrested on Tuesday, according to the police. The local court has remanded him to four-day police custody.
Sanjay Kotkar, deputy chief of Shiv Sena in Ahmednagar, and Vasant Thube, a party leader, were murdered after being shot and attacked with sharp weapons in Shahunagar on April 7.
Kotkar was arrested from Kamargaon area located around 25 km from Ahmednagar.
Kotkar had won the Ahmednagar municipal corporation (AMC) by-election from Kedgaon (ward 22), which triggered the violence leading to the murder of the two Sena leaders. The result of the by-election was announced hours before the incident took place. Kotkar had won against Vijay Pathare of Sena.The police found call records of Kotkar ordering the murder.
Four persons were arrested in the case within hours of the murder - Sangram Jagtap, NCP MLA from Ahmednagar; Sandeep Gunjal, Bala Kotkar and Bhanudas Kotkar. Babasaheb Kedar was arrested a few days later for providing the weapons used in the murder. His arrest led to the apprehension of two more identified as Sandeep Balasaheb Girhe and Mahavir Ramesh Mokale.
On April 19, a Shiv Sena member, Ravindra Ramesh Khollam, 40, was arrested from Ale Phata area. Khollam is a resident of Shahunagar in Kedgaon where the incident had taken place. The Congressman’s arrest is the ninth in the case.
While MLA Jagtap, Bala Kotkar and Bhanu Kotkar were remanded to judicial custody, the others arrested are in police custody.
All nine accused were arrested under Sections 302, 303, 120(b), 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with Sections 3 and 4/25 of Arms Act, registered at Kotwali police station of Ahmednagar city police. A five-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by Rohidas Pawar, additional superintendent of police, Srirampur, was formed to investigate the case. Dilip Pawar, police inspector, Ahmednagar local crime branch, is the investigation officer and a member of SIT.
The arrested corporator's predecessor was also involved in the murder of a local businessman in 2008. His conviction in the case in 2016 necessitated the by-election.