A week after party workers of the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) reportedly clashed at Old Customs House, the police are scanning photographs and video footage of the incident to identify the miscreants. The police said security had been stepped up ahead of the April 10 deadline to withdraw nominations.
Party workers clashed last Thursday, when Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant and Aditya Shirodkar of the MNS went to file their nominations to contest from the Mumbai South and Mumbai South Central constituencies, respectively. The police said men from both parties pelted stones at each other and a video-journalist was hit on the head with the broken glass bottle in the incident. Traffic on the busy Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road had also come to a standstill.
A total of 18 people from both parties were arrested and later let out on bail. The police are, however, in the process of identifying more accused. “We are relying on video footage aired on news channels, and also examining photographs taken by journalists on the spot. Besides this, we are also looking at CCTV footage from cameras installed at Old Customs House and footage from our own cameras,” said Ravindra Shisve, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 1.
The police have obtained addresses of a few more party workers, but parties have reportedly been hesitant to disclose their details. “Both parties have been a little reluctant to give addresses of party workers we have identified. Most of them live in Central Mumbai. We will take strict action once they are nabbed,” said Ashok Jagdale, senior inspector, MRA Marg police station.
Following the incident, police bandobast was reviewed and increased considerably, said Shisve. “In addition to our present bandobast, we have placed an added force of 90 armed personnel at Old Customs House. Though we do not expect much trouble on April 10, we will be on our guards,” said Shisve.