Political rivalry between two candidates contesting the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) election took an ugly turn on Wednesday night. Fourteen people, including a Shiv Sena and a Congress candidate, were booked for rioting and causing physical injuries.
Separate cases were registered against the two rival candidates, and their respective supporters were also named in the cases. The troublemakers were arrested; all of them were released on bail by a city court yesterday.
Sources said that rioting occurred on two occasions. They said first there was trouble at Vijayanand Talkies in Budhwar Peth and later at Sassoon hospital. The sources said the violence was a result of an ongoing rivalry between Shiv Sena candidate Vijay Maratkar and Congress candidate Milind Kachi.
Kachi, a former Shiv Sena loyalist, was denied a ticket by the party. As he later managed to get a ticket from the Congress, the sources said this resulted in rivalry between the two. On Wednesday evening, when Maratkar and his supporters were returning to their ward office after a political rally, they noticed a Kachi supporter, Kedar Bhokare, going on door-to-door visits to campaign for the Congress candidate.
This allegedly irked Maratkar's supporters and they picked up a fight with Bhokare. Kachi's supporters then intervened and allegedly got involved in a skirmish with Maratkar and his supporters.
"Three supporters from both sides were injured in this incident," Sub-Inspector U K Yadav said. "We have registered two separate complaints under several sections of the IPC for rioting and causing injuries to one another."
Several supporters of both the candidates were injured in the brawl and they were taken to Sassoon hospital, where both sides again clashed with each other. The Bund Garden police registered a case against Kachi and Maratkar and their supporters for allegedly assaulting one another and creating nuisance at a public place.
Workers from both parties filed cross-complaints, after which the police arrested both the candidates and their supporters. Yesterday they were produced before a magistrate's court and all of them were released on bail on the condition that they would have to present themselves at the police station everyday till the completion of the election process.
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