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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Ulhasnagar firing incident 15 year feud behind shooting of Sena leader Mahesh Gaikwad

Ulhasnagar firing incident: 15-year feud behind shooting of Sena leader Mahesh Gaikwad

Updated on: 06 February,2024 05:26 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faisal Tandel |

Sources tell mid-day that Ganpat Gaikwad and Mahesh Gaikwad hail from same village and bad blood goes back to their tussle for supremacy over cable TV operations

Ulhasnagar firing incident: 15-year feud behind shooting of Sena leader Mahesh Gaikwad

Messages put up on social media by supporters. Pics/Navneet Bharate

Questions are being raised as to why BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad and Mahesh Gaikwad—city president of the Shiv Sena Eknath Shinde faction—were left together at the police station despite it being known that they had a bitter rivalry right from 2006-2007 when they were both cable network operators in the area. “The fight between them began after a raid was carried out against Mahesh’s cable business. He believed Ganpat was responsible for it,” said a source close to the family. The family source added, “Later, action was initiated against his dhaba named after actor Mithun Chakraborty and Mahesh believed Ganpat was also responsible for this as well. They have been rivals since.”

Social media posts following the incident on Friday. Pics/Navneet Bharate
Social media posts following the incident on Friday. Pics/Navneet Bharate

Ganpat and Mahesh—former corporator of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation—are from the same village and are also related. Ganpat was elected as an Independent MLA in 2009. Later he joined the NCP which was in power then. In 2014 he contested as an Independent candidate and then joined the BJP. In 2019, Ganpat contested on a BJP ticket when Shiv Sena and BJP had an alliance. “Dhananjay Borade—an independent candidate—was brought in to fight against Ganpat and it is said that he was supported by MP Shrikant Shinde and Mahesh, along with other corporators and the sarpanch. However, Ganpat won the election and it resulted in political rivalry,” said the source.

In 2022, after Eknath Shinde became the chief minister, Mahesh became close to his son Shrikant and was the first person from Kalyan to support the Shinde faction. “Seeing the support, Mahesh Gaikwad was given the position of Kalyan East City President of the Shiv Sena Shinde faction. Soon after, he started getting involved in every work Ganpat had undertaken,” the source said, adding that Mahesh was also assured a ticket against Ganpat.

“Mahesh was working hard, opposing and interfering in every work. There were verbal arguments, and the two accused each other of corruption… sometimes at public events and sometimes on social media… taking credit for the developmental work in the city. A few months ago, they challenged each other to take the issue to the streets, but due to timely police intervention, a conflict was averted,” he added.

A police officer who was at Kolshewadi said, “They have come to the police station many times due to some issue as both live in Kolshewadi police station jurisdiction. But we usually call them separately to avoid any ruckus at the police station as both have a huge group of supporters who follow them and could fight with each other,” a police officer said, adding that they would usually leave after filing a non-cognisable offence or threatening to file a case.

Meanwhile, a local from Kalyan questioned as to why the senior police inspector of Hill Line police station made them sit together for 10-15 minutes. “When both of them have past rivalry and were aggressive then why precautionary measures or extra force was not deployed or asked for. There was negligence on the part of the police too.”

On Friday, Mahesh and Ganpat came face-to-face at the police station due to a land dispute in Dwarli. Ganpat fired six rounds at Mahesh. Following the incident, the police have beefed up security in Ulhasnagar and Kalyan East. Teams of armed police personnel and the State Reserve Police Force have been deployed.  There is also a large police presence outside the residence and office of Ganpat. The police have also increased patrolling.

Additional Commissioner of Police Dattatray Shinde has appealed to citizens to maintain peace. The Thane crime branch has formed different teams for the investigation and to search for the wanted accused, including Ganpat’s son Vaibhav. Meanwhile, Ganpat’s licensed firearm has been sent for forensic analysis.

A reel war this!

After the firing incident, supporters of both Gaikwads started a ‘reel’ war on social media, posting their pictures and clips with messages like ‘tiger is back’ and ‘tiger abhi zinda hai’ with Bollywood songs playing along.

Year rivalry began

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