BJP’s Kirit Somaiya claims assault by Shiv Sena activists, accuses Mumbai police of filing bogus FIR 

The BJP leader claimed that a group of 70-80 Shiv Sainiks pelted his car with bottles, stones and footwear with the intent of taking his life.

April 24, 2022 10:00 am | Updated 10:54 pm IST - Pune

 Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.  File

Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya. File | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya stirred another controversy late on Saturday after he claimed he was assaulted by Shiv Sena workers while accusing the Mumbai police of ‘kowtowing’ to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

The BJP leader claimed that a group of 70-80 Shiv Sainiks pelted his car with bottles, stones and footwear with the intent of taking his life.

He further accused Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey of acting at the behest of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray by lodging “a bogus FIR” which downplayed the seriousness of his case.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Police Manjunath Shinge said that while a case had been lodged based on Mr. Somaiya’s complaint, the probe would be fair and impartial.

The alleged assault on Mr. Somaiya’s car occurred while he was paying a ‘solidarity visit’ at the Khar police station to the husband-wife duo of independent Badnera MLA Ravi Rana and independent Amravati MP Navneet Rana, who were arrested by the Mumbai police after they had threatened to play the Hanuman Chalisa in front of Mr. Thackeray’s official residence ‘Matoshree’.

In a series of tweets late on Saturday and early on Sunday, Mr. Somaiya said he was “shocked” how the Sena’s goons assaulted him in the “presence 50 police personnel in the compound of Khar Police Station”.

“The Sena’s hooligans wanted to kill me. What was the Mumbai Police Commissioner doing? How so many Sena ‘goondas’ were allowed to gather at the police station?” said the BJP leader.

Visuals of an indignant Mr. Somaiya sitting scowling in his car with a trickle of blood down his chin went viral late on Saturday night.

Mr. Somaiya claimed that this was the third time the Uddhav Thackeray government tried to take his life, with similar incidents taking place in Washim and in Pune in the recent past.

“60-70 Shiv Sainiks attacked me under the supervision of the police… Then Mumbai CP Sanjay Pandey claims that an FIR was lodged in Bandra police station. The FIR, which calculatedly tries to downplay the incident, says that a stone was hurled at me from afar. Is this the Maharashtra police or works at the behest of Uddhav Thackeray? This is a bogus FIR and I have decided not to sign it,” he said.

Charging that the image of the Mumbai police force was being “tarnished” because of the assault on Mr. Somaiya, BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has said he would be meeting the Home Secretary and Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil to demand a stern probe in the matter.

“The police are behaving like political activists… No investigation was launched in the matter. Hooliganism is rampant under the Thackeray regime. The police ought to ashamed,” said Mr. Fadnavis, the former Maharashtra Chief Minister who remarked that the BJP would not take the assault lightly and would give a fitting reply to the MVA government over this incident.

He further censured the MVA over the arrest of the Rana husband-wife duo, remarking that despite the Sections under which they had been charged being bailable, Ms. Rana, a woman, was deliberately kept in the lock-up merely because she dared to challenge the Sena.

Commenting on Mr. Somaiya’s alleged assault and the arrest of the Rana husband-wife duo, Mr. Walse-Patil said the Mumbai police knew their work and were carrying out their duties efficiently.  

“For the last two days, a situation of riot was created in the State in the name of playing Hanuman Chalisa [in front of Uddhav Thackeray’s residence]... so, action was taken against the Rana couple. There is no need to give separate instructions to the police. They know their work,” he said.

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