Immersion clash in
Sangli takes political turn after airport drama Munde stopped from
flying to riot zone, agitates, detained
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
BJP general secretary Gopinath Munde was detained at Mumbai airport on
Monday and prevented from flying to Kolhapur, from where he would have
travelled to the communally tense towns of Miraj and Sangli. This
sparked a protest by his supporters at the airport, leading to a
lathicharge by the police.
The former Deputy
Chief Minister later decided to travel by road instead.
officials said he had taken a boarding pass for Kingfisher Airlines'
flight IT 4113 to Kolhapur at 10.05 am. However, citing the communal
trouble in Miraj and Sangli and prohibitory orders by local
authorities in Kolhapur, police officials prevented him from boarding
protesting at the terminal, saying he had a right to fly anyhad a
right to fly anywhere in the country," said an airport official. Munde
was soon joined by thousands of supporters.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya threatened to disrupt airport activities if
Munde was not allowed to fly.
tried to barge in through the departure gate 1, which had to be closed
for about two to five minutes.
Passengers had to use the other departure gate," said a spokesperson
for the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
In the police
lathicharge, two BJP workers were seriously injured. One of them,
Deepak Patil, was admitted to Jaslok Hospital. "Those found rioting
have been charged.
They tried to stop taxis from entering the terminal, threatened other
passengers and blocked access to the airport,"
said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VIII).
office in Kolhapur had issued prohibitory orders against Munde after
learning that he was on his way to Miraj. A copy of the order was sent
to the Worli police, who was supposed to serve the order to Munde as
he lives there. But he got the order only at the airport. A similar
order was also given through the Airport Police to Kingfisher
did not comment on the incident.
On Sunday, BJP MLCs
Prakash Shandge and Madhu Chavan had been detained at Kolhapur and
sent back to Mumbai.