The two sons of BJP MLA Krishna Khopde finally surrendered before the Ambazari police late Sunday night. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ranjan Sharma confirmed the surrender to The Indian Express.
Abhilash and Rohit Khopde, involved in a violent clash with the owners of liquor bar Cloud 7 on Sunday before last, presented themselves before the police along with three of their accomplices at around 10.30 pm. The police had searched Khopde’s Satranjipura residence Saturday and told him that his son Rohit, who was absconding, be produced before them immediately. While Khopde continued to play the protective father for at least a week, the police had cautioned him not to further delay action against his sons.
Elder son Abhilash, who along with Rohit and his friends has been booked for attempt to murder, was admitted in a hospital for treatment of injuries he allegedly suffered during the brawl with Sunny Bamrotwar and his staff of Cloud 7 bar. The police had also warned the doctor at the Kimmatkar Hospital that if he continues to hold the patient without any reason, he could also be booked in the case.
“We had sought a check-up from a government doctors’ team led by the Civil Surgeon to verify if Abhilash really needs such a prolonged hospitalisation. We had also warned the doctor that he could be booked too in case he is unnecessarily holding the patient,” said DCP Sharma.
Meanwhile, the video footage at the bar belies Khopde’s claim that his sons were wrongly charged with attempt to murder by the police. “The footage shows a sequence of four scuffles. Initially, heated exchanges, pushing around and shoving happened between Abhilash, his three friends and Sunny. The four then came down from the bar — Sunny with a hockey stick in his hand and his staff followed them downstairs — where a heavy scuffle followed. Sunny and the staff could be seen being beaten up by the four friends. It was followed by the four again going upstairs and ransacking the bar. Meanwhile, Rohit and his friends also reached the spot. While Rohit and a friend waited downstairs, the other friends went upstairs and joined the assault. It was here that Abhilash hit Sunny with a bottle on his head. Sunny later managed to escape. The youth Shubham Mahakalkar, who was later murdered, was seated in Rohit’s car all this while,” said Sharma.
The scuffle had then led to a full scale armed assault by Sunny’s younger brother Shobhit and his friends at least 500 metres away, where Mahakalkar became a victim of Shobhit gang’s murderous assault. “The video footage clearly shows that Khopde’s sons and friends had led four different assaults on Sunny and his staff,” added Sharma.
Meanwhile, Khopde had in a statement attacked the police and Excise Department for not taking cognisance of the growing “goondaism” in the bars, which he said had become “dens of arms”. He had also criticised the government for allowing the bars to remain open till late hours. Khopde had even suggested that bars be allowed to remain open only from 10 am to 5 pm.
In another twist, Khopde has sought a CBI probe into the incident. “The police should be focusing on the murder case but they are targeting my sons. I have no faith left in the local police and have demanded a CBI probe of the Chief Minister,” said Khopde.