Pune: The Ahmednagar police on Sunday arrested four persons, including NCP MLA Sangram Jagtap, for the murder of two Shiv Sena leaders in Kedgaon village of Ahmednagar district on Saturday evening.
The two Sena leaders, Sanjay Keshav Kotkar (35) and Vasant Ananda Tubhe (40), were shot and killed by unidentified persons hours after the by-poll results in the Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation were declared. As per the Kotwali police, the incident took place in Suvarna Nagar area. The law and order situation in Ahmednagar was impacted and members of the Shiv Sena organised a bandh on Sunday across the district.
The police said Sanjay and Vasant were on their way from Suvarna Nagar on a two-wheeler when they were shot and attacked with sharp weapons by unidentified persons, which led to their deaths on the spot. The number of assailants is unknown.
A local Shiv Sena leader said the incident was related to the large scale support the Sena received in the civic by-poll for ward 32 (Kedgaon) of Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation. Kotwali police said apart from Jagtap, they also arrested Balasaheb Kotkar, Sandeep Gunjal and Bhanudas Kotkar in the case. Sandeep is the main accused.
Sub Divisional Officer Akshay Shinde said the and interrogation of the accused is in progress. "We cannot confirm the reason for the murder until our investigations are over. The law and order situation is under control and extra forces have been deployed," added Shinde. The by-poll was conducted on Friday. Congress' Vishal Kotkar defeated the Sena's Vijay Pathare by a thin margin of 454 votes.
The police booked BJP legislator Shivaji Kardile, Jagtap’s father Arun Jagtap and 30 others for hatching a conspiracy and executing the killings. Jagtap’s arrest prompted a fresh wave of vandalism and violent protests as irate NCP party workers stormed into the District Police Superintendent’s office and vandalised it, following which 22 persons were arrested and remanded in police custody till April 10. Police Inspector Abhay Parmar from Kotwali police station was suspended following orders from Minister of State for Home (Rural) Deepak Kesarkar.
State Minister Ramdas Kadam, addressing the media in Ahmednagar, alleged the murders were a conspiracy hatched by the BJP, the Congress and the NCP.
“Despite our alliance with the BJP, they were hand-in-glove with the Congress and the NCP during the Kedgaon by-poll. The BJP candidate could garner only 156 votes. It clearly proves that there was a covert agreement between them to divert votes to the Congress,” he alleged.
Kadam said over 250 persons ransacked the office of Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police, which clearly reflects that Maharashtra is becoming like Uttar Pradesh as there is no control over law and order in the State.
Reacting to the unrest situation in Ahmednagar, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, said the police have failed to maintain law and order in the district and there is a need for an independent home minister in the State.