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A day after MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande was allegedly attacked by masked people at Dadar’s Shivaji Park, two men, including 56-year-old Maharashtra vice-president Rajya Mathadi and a Kamgar Sena general – affiliated to the Shiv Sena (UBT) – were arrested on Saturday, the Mumbai police’s crime branch said.
Ashok Kharat (56) and his accomplice Kishan Solanki (25) were arrested from Bhandup. Police said Kharat, Solanki and two others attacked Deshpande with cricket stumps and bats around 7.15 am on Friday while he was on his morning walk. The police say that two other defendants in the case have been identified and that they are being tracked down.
Soon after, a team from the Shivaji Park police recorded Deshpande’s statement and registered a chargesheet for attempt to murder, criminal activity and common intention under the IPC. Deshpande broke his hand and injured his leg.
Bharatiya Kamgar Sena meanwhile claimed that Kharat is not its member, yet to ascertain if he is related to Maharashtra Rajya Mathadi and General Kamgar Sena.
Bharatiya Kamgar Sena vice president Vinod Ghosalkar said, “Kharat is not associated with Kamgar Sena. It is yet to be ascertained whether he had any connection with our other units like Mathadi Sena or any other Sena outfit. There are many units of Shiv Sena… It also needs to be ascertained whether he was an ex or present official if he is actually a member of any of these outfits.
MNS workers had alleged that Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) was involved in the attack. “Everyone knows who is behind the attack, but I am not afraid of anyone.” I will continue to speak,” Deshpande had said.
Speaking to the media, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dyaneshwar Chavan said, “We formed eight teams to find the miscreants. With the help of CCTV footage, technical analysis and informants, the two suspects were arrested from Bhandup.
Police said Kharat has cases of attempted murder, assault and kidnapping registered against him in Bhandup and Dombivali. “Solanki and two others followed Kharat’s instructions. Early on Friday, they joined Kharat to attack Deshpande. The accused have alleged that Deshpande spoke ill of the Shiv Sena leader, because of which he decided to attack him,” Chavan said.
“So far it appears that Kharat is the main accused. We are trying to ascertain whether anyone else is supporting him,” he added.