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BJP spokesperson, 20 others booked for rioting, molestation

The police said those arrested in the molestation case were identified as Vipalav Avsare, Vithal Shinde, Anand Singh.

THE Jogeshwari police on Tuesday booked Mumbai BJP spokesperson Yogesh Verma and around 20 BJP workers on charges of rioting, molestation, assault and deterring public servants from duty, following a road rage incident near the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) on Tuesday evening.

The police have arrested five BJP party workers while Verma will be arrested once he is discharged from the hospital. The police are on the lookout for 10 others who are wanted in the case.

According to the Jogeshwari police, the incident was reported around 5.45 pm on the southbound stretch of the Western Express Highway. The police said that Verma was travelling in a Scorpio car, which his driver was driving,  and a friend was also accompanying him.

When Verma’s vehicle reached the JVLR overbridge road leading to the highway, his driver overtook a Swift Dzire. A senior citizen couple were travelling in the car with their son and daughter, and their son was driving the sedan. When Verma’s vehicle overtook them, they confronted him on rash driving after which the argument snowballed.

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Vitthal Damgude, senior inspector, Jogeshwari police, said that the two parties got into a heated arguement after which Verma, his driver and the friend allegedly began to assault the senior citizen couple and their children. They also reportedly threw stones at them. The accused molested the couple’s 24-year-old daughter, the police said.

“As things got violent, police officers and more BJP workers gathered outside the trauma center in Jogeshwari where the accused and victims were taken to by the police. When officers tried to intervene, the workers manhandled and assaulted policemen. Subsequently, two cases were registered against Verma and his associates. Five party workers were then arrested,” said Damugade.

Two cases have been registered. The police said that in the first case, a police officer was the complainant and BJP workers, excluding Verma, had been booked under IPC sections 332 (for voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (for assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), apart from various sections for rioting. In the second case, meanwhile, the senior citizen couple’s daughter, who resides at Malad, is the complainant and Verma and his accomplices have been booked for rioting, assault and molestation.

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“The five accused were produced before a metropolitan court on Tuesday that remanded them to police custody till April 11. Verma will be arrested once he is discharged from the hospital. Investigation is in progress,” Damgude added.

The police said those arrested in the molestation case were identified as Vipalav Avsare, Vithal Shinde, Anand Singh, while in the policemen assault case, the accused is Sanjay Singh. Party worker Amit Agarwal, who has been booked in both cases, was also arrested, said the police, adding that at least 10 others were wanted in the case.
mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

First published on: 10-04-2014 at 02:21 IST
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