Dramatic CCTV footage from a police station near Mumbai not only shows a BJP MLA firing at a leader of party ally Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) and then attacking him and his associates with the butt of his gun, but also appears to significantly weaken his argument that the act was done in self-defence.
Ganpat Gaikwad, the BJP MLA from Kalyan East in Thane district, has been locked in a land dispute with Mahesh Gaikwad, the Kalyan chief of the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction). According to the police, Ganpat Gaikwad’s son had gone to a police station in neighbouring Ulhasnagar on Friday to file a complaint in connection with the dispute when Mahesh Gaikwad arrived with his men. The BJP MLA also reached the police station a little later.
A 2-minute video shows the BJP MLA sitting in the chamber of the senior police Inspector of Hill Line police station with four people initially, including Mahesh Gaikwad, and things appear to be calm – only to be revealed to be the lull before the storm. Ganpat Gaikwad can be seen talking to the four men when another man enters the room. He and another man leave the room a little later.
Discussions continue when Ganpati Gaikwad suddenly gets up, brandishes a gun, aims it at one of the three men and opens fire, triggering pandemonium. The three men rush to the door of the room but the BJP MLA fires again.
When two of the men manage to get out and police officials enter the room, the BJP MLA hits the remaining man with the butt of his gun and continues to attack him even as police officials and others attempt to pull him off while preventing two other men from intervening. On the other end of the room, another man is seen assaulting an associate of one of the leaders.
The BJP MLA and two of his associates have been arrested and Mahesh Gaikwad and an aide are undergoing treatment after suffering gunshot wounds.
Speaking to a news channel after the shooting, Ganpat Gaikwad claimed that he had acted in self-defence because his son was being beaten up by associates of the Sena leader in front of the police.
“Yes, I shot (him) myself. I have no regrets. If my son is being beaten in front of the police inside the police station, what will I do,” he told the channel.
The CCTV footage, however, appears to belie this claim.
‘Will Betray BJP’
The BJP MLA also hit out at party ally and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, claiming he is “trying to create a kingdom of criminals in Maharashtra”.
“Shinde saheb betrayed Uddhav (Thackeray) saheb, he will also betray BJP. He owes me crores of rupees. Mr Shinde should resign if Maharashtra is to be well-managed. This is my humble request to Devendra Fadnavis (Deputy Chief Minister) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” reports quoted him as saying.
“If Eknath Shinde is the Chief Minister, only criminals will be born in Maharashtra. He has made a good person like me a criminal today,” he added.
The BJP MLA and his associates will be produced in a court in Ulhasngar on Saturday, where the police will seek their custody.
The opposition has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Shinde, with the Congress claiming that there was a law-and-order breakdown in the state. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut also blamed Mr Shinde for the incident.
(With inputs from PTI)