Updated: June 16, 2021 11:28:18 pm
A scuffle broke out between Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena workers Wednesday during a demonstration by the youth wing members of the opposition party outside Sena Bhawan in Dadar. Thirty-seven workers from both the sides were detained and booked by the Mumbai Police.
The Shiv Sena, in an editorial earlier this week, had demanded a probe on a “suspicious” land purchase deal by the Ram Mandir trust in Ayodhya. The criticism had riled the BJP which had decided to hold a march to the Sena Bhawan to protest against “lies and cooked up allegations” being levelled by the Sena.
Sena workers had also reached the area in the morning, claiming they were there to “protect” the Sena Bhavan. When the BJYM Morcha reached the area, matters escalated and a scuffle broke out between the workers of both the parties.
Following the fisticuffs, police took several persons into custody. The Shivaji Park police have registered two cases in the riot incident. Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Chaitanya S said, “Seven persons affiliated with the Shiv Sena have been booked under sections 143, 147, 149, 392, 324, 323, 354 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, while 30 BYJM activists have been booked under relevant sections for violating Covid norms.”
BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said, “The party’s youth wing had organised a rally to protest against Sena and Congress for their false campaign on Ram temple construction. The BJP had launched a fund collection drive with good intentions for the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. Yet, the Congress and Sena were spreading lies and alleging corruption and misuse of funds by the temple trust, which has hurt the sentiments of the BJP cadre.”
According to Shelar, the BJYM had taken permission from the police for the demonstration and after the protest, they were returning quietly when some Sena workers, under the police cover, started an altercation with some BJP’s women activist. “Their misconduct upset those present. When BJP workers countered, it led to skirmishes,” Shelar said.
Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar, meanwhile, said, “We learnt that they (BJP) are coming to vandalise the Sena Bhavan. So, we stopped them before they could reach near it.”
The Sena leaders also blamed the BJP for “orchestrating a show to undermine the party”. Party leader Rahul Shewale said, “If BJP holds a protest outside Sena Bhawan, they will have to face our workers.”
A senior Sena minister, not wishing to be named, said, “Why did the BJP choose Dadar to hold the protest? They know it is a stronghold of the Shiv Sena. The BJP provokes first and then holds Sena responsible, which is unfortunate. The Sena never assaults any woman.”
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