Shiv Sena MLA Tukaram Kate was attacked outside a Navratri pandal in the Maharashtra Nagar locality of Trombay late Friday.
Police said around six persons, including one wielding a sword, tried to attack Kate. While Kate escaped unhurt, one of his bodyguards, who helped fend off the attack, sustained minor injuries. The local police has registered a case of attempt to murder and suspect the involvement of a group of contractors who were unhappy with Kate’s opposition to their activities.
A police officer said the incident took place around midnight when Kate and his supporters were leaving a Navratri pandal. The attackers, who lay in wait outside the pandal, attacked them.
“As per Kate’s statement, one of his supporters fended off the attack and got injured in the process. The attackers fled the spot,” the officer said. While the attackers are suspected to have fled in a car, the injured person was taken to the local hospital and discharged soon.
The police are now on the lookout for the attackers who have been identified based on Kate’s complaint. “The incident seems related to the contract of filling up rubble at the Metro site in Mankhurd. A few days ago, Kate, along with others, had held an agitation,” an IPS officer said.
The police said despite court orders to stop movement of trucks to fill rubble at night, the activity continued, following which, Kate had launched an agitation. Sena workers had held up trucks stopping them from dumping rubble at the Metro site.
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena legislator and party spokesperson, said Kate’s life has been saved by his bodyguards and Shiv Sainiks. “I spoke to him in the morning. He told me that the big vehicles transporting soil were troubling the people of the area. So, Kate and local MP Rahul Shewale had protested against this on Monday. That might have hurt the interests of a few people,” said Gorhe.
“Secondly, the Metro contractor wants to complete work at the earliest and the huts belonging to slum dwellers are being demolished for the same. Kate has taken a stand in support of the slum dwellers and demanded alternative arrangement for them. This seems to have hurt…,” she added.
Gorhe said Mumbai Police should immediately step up Kate’s security.