Updated: April 10, 2018 7:34:30 am
Two days after two Shiv Sena leaders were shot and hacked to death at Kedgaon in Ahmednagar district, the police on Monday arrested BJP MLA Shivaji Kardile.
Kardile (60) is the second sitting MLA to be arrested in the case. On Sunday, his son-in-law Sangram Jagtap, an NCP MLA, was arrested on charges of murder. Around 30 other people, including Sangram Jagtap’s father, Arun Jagtap — also an NCP MLC — have been booked in the case along with Congress’s Sandeep Kotkar, the former Ahmednagar mayor.
Sanjay Kotkar (53), deputy chief of Shiv Sena’s Ahmednagar city unit, and Vasant Thube (42), a party worker and Kotkar’s close friend, were killed hours after result of a civic bypoll was announced in Kedgaon on Saturday.
Though a suspected assailant, identified as Sandeep Gunjal, had surrendered before the police within hours of the murders, claiming that he had killed the two due to “personal enmity”, police suspect this could be a case of a political murder. “As of now, we are probing the murders as a fallout of possible political rivalry,” said Ahmednagar SP Ranjan Kumar Sharma. The police have set up a special investigation team.
The double murder has put the focus on the strange city politics where political rivalries between BJP, NCP and Congress have been blurred by close family ties. “The Kardile-Jagtap-Kotkar family controls NCP, BJP and Congress in Ahmednagar,” said an officer police’s special branch.
On Monday, police detained Kardile and later arrested him. While leaving his house, the five-term MLA, Kardile, claimed he was being framed. Asked why his name was figuring in several cases of hooliganism, he said: “If that would have been the case, people would not have have elected me.”
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