After Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar was shot dead on Thursday by unidentified assailants in Mumbai, party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday about the reported deterioration in law and order situation in Maharashtra.
“I am writing this letter to you with profound distress and dismay regarding the dire law and order situation in the state of Maharashtra. The rampant use of firearms to intimidate innocent civilians and public representatives has plunged the state into a perpetual state of fear and insecurity. Despite law and order being a state subject, the government of Maharashtra’s failure to address these recurring incidents reflects a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of its citizens,” said the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader in her letter to Shah.
“The following egregious instances illustrate the alarming breakdown of law and order; On February 8, 2024, Abhishek Ghosalkar, a Shiv Sena (UBT) leader, was brutally shot dead during a Facebook Live Session in the Dahisar area of Mumbai; BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad brazenly opened fire at Mahesh Gaikwad, the Thane President of Shiv Sena’s Shinde faction, inside a police station on February 3; An MLA affiliated with the Shinde faction brandished a firearm during a Ganpati Bappa procession in Mumbai, followed by a gunshot fired within a police station. The lack of transparency regarding the balistic report is deeply concerning, especially considering this individual holds a position of authority as President of a Temple Trust,” she added.
Chaturvedi further said in the letter, “Raj Surve, son of MLA Prakash Surve from the Shinde faction, abducted businessman Rajkumar Singh at gunpoint in Mumbai, yet no substantial police action has been taken; Members of the Shinde faction viciously attacked BJP Karyakartas in North Mumbai, with no repercussions despite the visit of a prominent local BJP leader; A leader affiliated with the Shinde faction was captured on video assaulting a family, including a young girl, inside their home due to their refusal to comply with extortion demands.
Shockingly, no measures have been taken by law enforcement in response to this barbaric act.”
“Roshni Shinde, a functionary of Shiv Sena (UBT), was brutally assaulted by a group of 20-25 individuals from the Shinde faction in April 2023, with the incident recorded on camera. Despite this clear evidence, the police have callously refused to register a complaint,” she added.
Citing the NCRB’s ‘Crime in India’ report, the Shiv Sena leader added, “Maharashtra witnessed a 15% increase in crime against women from 39,526 cases in 2021 to 49,331 cases in 2022. The fact is that an average five crimes against women and two crimes against children were reported every hour in Maharashtra in 2022.”
Priyanka Chaturvedi further said that the ‘once-vibrant’ city of Mumbai is now marred by escalating crime, violence and gunfire.
“Despite assertions by Maharashtra Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis, regarding the state’s purportedly under-control law and order situation, the litany of documented and unreported incidents starkly contradicts these claims,” she added.
Chaturvedui further urged the Union Home Minister to intervene in the law-and-order situation in Maharashtra.
“I implore you to urgently intervene in the deteriorating law and order situation in Maharashtra before irreparable harm is inflicted upon its residents,” she said in the letter.
Earlier on Thursday, Abhishek Ghosalkar was shot dead by a lone assailant, whom the police identified as Mauris Noronha, in the Dahisar area. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Later, the assailant, Noronha, too, shot himself dead, according to the police.
The police said that a case has also been registered against deceased Mauris under section 302 of the IPC, Sections 3 and 25 of the Arms Act, Section 37 (1) (A), and Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.
Notably, this is the second such incident in January. Earlier, BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad allegedly opened fire at Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) faction leader Mahesh Gaikwad at Hill Line Police Station in Ulhasnagar, triggering sharp reactions from the opposition leaders.
The BJP MLA is currently in judicial custody.