Cops called in to control crowds at Matunga counting centre

May 17, 2014, 09:06 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

The police guarded the centre where votes for the Mumbai South Central constituency were being counted; they had to erect barricades to bar people from entering the building, when Rahul Shewale emerged the winner

The counting process for the Mumbai South Central constituency was done under heavy police cover. The centre at Ruparel College in Matunga initially didn’t have many people standing outside, but the crowd slowly gathered by noon. There was also an ambulance and fire brigade on standby.

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Shiv Sena’s Rahul Shewale defeated incumbent Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad by over 1.38 lakh votes. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Shiv Sena’s Rahul Shewale defeated incumbent Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad by over 1.38 lakh votes. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Five police vans were stationed at the centre, apart from the policemen already present there. While other counting centres didn’t have such law enforcement cover, the precautions may have come against the background of an alleged assault on a constable on election day by the wife of Rahul Shewale, now the MP of the constituency.

Shewale’s Shiv Sena supporters started gathering outside the centre around 11.30 am, with Sena flags and drums. At the end of every counting round, vote counts and leading candidates are announced.

As soon as the round 8 announcement was made, Shiv Sena supporters gathered in huge numbers. Celebrations already broke out, with the young and the elderly dancing away to glory.

With subsequent counting round, it became evident that Shewale would defeat current MP, Congress’ Eknath Gaikwad. However, by 1.30 pm, after 18 rounds the announcements abruptly stopped – there were a total of 21 rounds.

The crowds waited for a long time for the winner to be announced. Many of them tried entering the premises to know the news. Police had to erect barricades and make announcements to ask them to stay away from the centre.

About half an hour later, it was suddenly declared that Rahul Shewale would be coming out. Party members and supporters welcomed him with a bouquet. He was also paraded on shoulders around the area, after which he left for Sena Bhavan.

When contacted, Shewale’s wife Kamini said, “It is a dream come true for Balasaheb. We are very happy we won with a big lead. We will now work to prove ourselves to the people and the trust they have shown us.”
She further added that due to some problem, the final winner’s announcement was not made.

Constable injured on election day
A 39-year-old constable Ashok Thorbole was injured in a clash between MNS and Shiv Sena workers on the night of April 24, the day Mumbai voted.

He allegedly assaulted by Shiv Sena candidate Rahul Shewale’s wife Kamini and 16 other MNS workers during the fight in Trombay. He is currently in Joy Hospital, Chembur. Dr Roy Patankar, director of the hospital, said, “His condition has improved considerably over the last week.

We conducted an endoscopy and his windpipe (trachea) has healed very well. On Saturday, we will conduct another test to see how well his oesophagus has healed. He was shifted out of the ICU a few days ago and is conscious and interacting with the doctors and his kin.”

A case was filed against Shewale’s wife Kamini under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 143 (punishment for whoever is member of an unlawful assembly), 149 and 114 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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