THE THANE police on Saturday made four arrests in connection with the violent protests by villagers in Kalyan on Thursday, in which 25 people, including 12 police personnel, were injured. The arrested accused were part of the crowd that attacked policemen with batons and stones, officers said. Meanwhile, a delegation from the villages met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in an attempt to resolve the crisis.
Hill Line senior inspector Mohan Waghmare said, “We have made four arrests in the case. Several more arrests are likely in the next couple of days.” The arrested accused have been identified as Kundan, Paresh and Akash Mhatre from Kevali village and one Vishal Sorkhade from Bhal village. The incident took place on Thursday around 9 am, when around 5,000 villagers from across five villages in Kalyan blocked the Kalyan Hajimalang highway.
The agitators were protesting the Navy building a boundary wall near the villages. The villagers claim that the land belongs to them, while the Navy says it has documents to prove that 1600 acres belongs to them. The villagers had attacked policemen with stones and set at least five police vehicles on fire. A total of 12 police personnel, including an assistant commissioner of police, and 13 villagers, sustained injuries.
The road was barred for traffic from 9 am to nearly 2 pm on Thursday. Vehicles were allowed to ply thereafter. The crowds were eventually controlled around 11:30 am, with the help of the Riot Control Police and paramilitary services. The police have registered FIRs against unidentified accused currently, on charges ranging from attempt to murder to arson to obstructing a public servant.