3 Feb 2024

Maharashtra: BJP MLA Arrested for Opening Fire in Police Station, Injuring Shinde Faction Leader; Opposition said this

A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), MLA Ganpat Gaikwad, has been taken into custody for allegedly shooting and injuring Mahesh Gaikwad, the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) chief of Kalyan, during a land dispute in Thane district, Maharashtra. The incident occurred inside the senior inspector's chamber at Hill Line police station in Ulhasnagar, prompting opposition criticism.

Additional Commissioner of Police Dattatrya Shinde informed the media about the arrest, stating that Ganpat Gaikwad fired shots during a confrontation with Mahesh Gaikwad, who was at the police station with his men. The altercation arose when Ganpat Gaikwad's son was reportedly being mistreated at the station.

Before his arrest, Ganpat Gaikwad claimed on a news channel that he resorted to using the firearm to protect his son from assault. He also accused Chief Minister Eknath Shinde of attempting to establish a "kingdom of criminals" in Maharashtra.

Following the shooting, Mahesh Gaikwad was initially taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a private medical facility in Thane. He underwent a successful surgery, as confirmed by Gopal Landge, the Kalyan in-charge of Shiv Sena.

The tension escalated as victim Mahesh Gaikwad is known to be close to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's son and Kalyan Lok Sabha MP Shrikant Shinde. Security forces have been deployed in the area to manage the situation.

No fear of law: Shiv Sena Uddhav leader

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) leader Anand Dubey, while talking to media, claimed that BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad has shot Shiv Sena Shinde faction leader Mahesh Gaikwad.

He said, "A BJP MLA opened fire inside the police station and the person who was shot is close to the Chief Minister and a former corporator. Both their parties are in power, so should we understand that these people have no fear of the law? Both engines of the state government have failed," said Uddhav faction spokesperson Anand Dubey.

The Shiv Sena had split in 2022 after Eknath Shinde revolted against then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and formed government with the BJP's help. The Election Commission had last year ruled in favour of Mr Shinde over the party's legacy.

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