Bullets fired after fight over who will immerse idol first

In Mulund, the Ganesh visarjan proceedings saw a bizarre sequence of events that led to 3 rounds of bullets being fired in the air over a minor argument. According to the police, the incident occurred at Moriya Lake in Mulund, at around 1 am on Thursday, when two mandals reached the spot at the same time. Each one of them wanted their idol to be immersed first.

Trigger-happy: Rajesh Kadam, from the Bal Mitra Mandal in Mulund (East), who fired 3 rounds of bullets in the air in an argument with another mandal during Ganesh visarjan on Thursday.Pic/Siddharth Dhadve

One idol belonged to the Veer Sambhaji Veer Nagar Rahevashi Sangh from Mulund (W) and the other belonged to Bal Mitra Mandal from Mulund (E).

An officer on duty at the lake said, “The Veer Sambhaji mandal was ahead in the queue to carry out the visarjan. When the Bal Mitra Mandal tried to overtake them, arguments started.”

The scene turned ugly when members of both parties started fighting each other. The heated argument had turned physical. To overpower the other mandal, the president of Bal Mitra Mandal, Rajesh Kadam, removed his country-made pistol and fired three rounds in the air.

Hearing the shots, the crowd that was standing at the spot panicked. All hell broke loose and people started running in all directions. A mini-stampede occurred, injuring two people, Gaurav Chowdhary and Suresh Babbar.

The police arrested two persons, Sachin Desai and Pratap Kanojia, from the Bal Mitra Mandal, on the spot. Kadam, who had fired the shots, was arrested on Thursday morning, from his residence at Mulund (East). An FIR was filed at the Navghar police station in Mulund (East).

Licensed gun
“Kadam had recently acquired a licence for the pistol. But it was for his personal security, and not for usage in public places. We have seized the pistol and investigations are still on, ” said Vasant Tajne, assistant commissioner of police (Mulund Division).

The trio has been booked under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse), 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence), and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code along with sections 3, 25 and 27 of the Arms Act. They have been remanded to police custody till today.  

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