Two weeks after Rajgruha, Dr B R Ambedkar’s residence in Dadar, was vandalised, police have arrested a 20-year-old man on Wednesday. This is the second arrest in the case.
The accused, Vishal More alias Vitthal Kanya, was arrested from outside Kalyan railway station, said Saurabh Tripathi, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IV. Police said More is a daily wage worker and lives on the pavement outside the station. He was identified as the man captured on Rajgruha’s CCTV camera overturning flower pots and hurling stones at the building’s windows on the evening of July 7.
Two days after the incident, Matunga police had arrested More’s accomplice Umesh Jadhav (35). Since then, they had been on the lookout for More, who was reportedly spotted roaming outside the house before the incident by Dr Ambedkar’s grandson Bhimrao. In his complaints, Bhimrao had described the man as mentally disturbed.
The two men were booked under the Indian Penal Code for defiling a place of worship with the intention of insulting the religion of any class, promoting enmity or ill will between groups on grounds of religion, criminal trespass, damaging property and a common intention to commit a crime.
The ground floor of the three-storey heritage residence in Hindu Colony, which was completed in 1933, houses a museum and memorial to Dr Ambedkar and a library of the several thousand books he had collected over his lifetime. The popular tourist attraction has been closed to the public since the lockdown was imposed.
Soon after the acts of vandalism, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that the culprits would not be spared. The state Cabinet had also decided to deploy round-the-clock police protection at Rajgruha.
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