Explained: What transpired before BJP MLA opened fire inside police station near Mumbai
The shocking incident took place while both parties were at the Hill Line police in Ulhasnagar police station to file complaints related to the land dispute. Ganpat Gaikwad allegedly fired at Mahesh Gaikwad.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief minister and state Home Minister, Devendra Fadnavis has announced a high-level probe into the recent firing incident at Hill Line police station in Ulhasnagar. The incident unfolded on Friday night when an altercation over a land dispute escalated between BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad and Shiv Sena leader Mahesh Gaikwad.
Fadnavis assured the public that the law would apply equally to everyone, regardless of their political affiliation. The probe, led by the Director General of Police (DGP), aims to determine whether the firing occurred inside the police station or elsewhere and to ascertain the circumstances leading to the incident.
The shocking incident took place while both parties were at the police station to file complaints related to the land dispute. Ganpat Gaikwad allegedly fired at Mahesh Gaikwad, leading to a swift response from the Hill Line police. Six accused, including Ganpat Gaikwad, Harshal Kene, and Sandeep Saravankar, were booked, with two arrests made and Ganpat Gaikwad's son, Vaibhav Gaikwad, currently absconding.
What the CCTV Video shows
The CCTV footage capturing the altercation at Hillline Police Station involving MLA Ganpat Gaikwad, Mahesh Gaikwad, and Rahul Patil has surfaced, shedding light on the dramatic and violent events that unfolded.
In the footage, it is evident that a discussion between the two groups escalated suddenly, leading to a heated exchange. MLA Ganpat Gaikwad is seen directly pulling out his pistol and opening fire. The shocking act resulted in bullet injuries for Mahesh Gaikwad and Rahul Patil.
Promptly responding to the sound of gunshots, a policeman rushed inside. However, instead of ceasing the violence, MLA Gaikwad continued to assault Mahesh Gaikwad. The policeman intervened, attempting to stop the altercation. Simultaneously, activists from both groups entered the scene, engaging in a physical confrontation. The clash escalated as activists wielded chairs against each other.
The condition of Mahesh Gaikwad, one of the injured, is reported to be critical, while Rahul Patil is currently in stable condition. Shrikant Shinde, after meeting with Mahesh Gaikwad, shared the grave nature of his condition. Mahesh Gaikwad has been placed on a ventilator due to the severity of his injuries. Despite the removal of six bullets from his body, the wounds are deemed serious. Rahul Patil underwent immediate surgery, and he is now in the intensive care unit with a stable condition.
Tight Security outside Kalwa Police Station
A forensic committee has collected evidence from the senior police inspector's cabin where the attack occurred. Security concerns led to the three accused being kept in Kalwa Police Station, with a significant police force deployed to ensure public safety in Kalyan constituency and the residential areas of those involved.
During the court hearing at Ulhasnagar court, Ganpat Gaikwad raised concerns about his son's innocence and questioned his inclusion in the FIR. The investigation officer emphasized the pre-planned nature of the attack, leading to a request for 14 days' custody to examine mobile phones and other details. The court granted 11 days' custody for further investigation.
The opposition has criticized the Shiv Sena-BJP government for alleged lawlessness in the state. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and MLA Aaditya Thackeray accused Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's faction of protecting criminals and fostering a climate of insecurity. NCP MP Supriya Sule called it a gang war and demanded the resignation of the home minister.
The longstanding enmity between Ganpat and Mahesh, both political figures with a history of conflicts, escalated to a firearm incident for the first time. The probe aims to shed light on the incident, its pre-planned nature, and the overall security situation in the state.