Mumbai, Apr 9 (PTI) Alleging a political conspiracy, the NCP today said two legislators of the party were "falsely implicated" in the murder case of two Shiv Sena leaders in Ahmednagar "at the behest of the Shiv Sena", a ruling ally in the BJP-headed Maharashtra government.
Police have arrested four persons, including NCP MLA Sangram Jagtap, for hatching a conspiracy to kill Sanjay Kotkar (35) and Vasant Thube (40) who were shot dead on Saturday in Kedgaon by two motorcycle-borne assailants, hours after the result of a civic bypoll was announced.
According to police, MLA Jagtap's father Arun Jagtap, an NCP MLC, was allegedly involved in vandalising the office of Ahmednagar superintendent of police on Saturday after arrest of his son.
BJP MLA Shivaji Kardile, who represents Rahuri seat in Ahmednagar district, was arrested today for vandalising the SP's office. According to a Shiv Sena leader, Kardile is the father-in-law of Sangram Jagtap.
"The Shiv Sena has falsely implicated NCP MLA Sangram Jagtap and his MLC father Arun Jagtap in the murder of Sena's Ahmednagar unit deputy leader Sanjay Kotkar and party worker Vasant Thube," senior NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil alleged while addressing a press conference in Ahmednagar.
He said the NCP had nothing to do with the accused booked in the murder case.
"When Sangram Jagtap was called for questioning at the police station, a youth broke a window pane. However, instead of looking for the youth, the police filed cases against NCP workers," the former minister said referring to ransacking of the office of Ahmednagar SP.
He alleged that "implication" of NCP legislators in the case was part of a political conspiracy as elections are nearing.
"Since Sangram Jagtap is very popular among locals, there is an attempt to implicate him in the case. The NCP will not tolerate this. The Shiv Sena should prove the charges against our legislators or be ready to face action," said Walse Patil.
Yesterday, senior Shiv Sena leader and state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had alleged that a "criminal nexus comprising the NCP and the BJP" was responsible for the killings.
He had said that the police are going slow in the case since Sangram Jagtap is the son-in-law of BJP MLA Kardile.
Police have formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the killings.
Of the four persons arrested in the murder case, Sandeep Gunjal is suspected to be a sharp shooter.
According to an Ahmednagar police official, Gujnal had told them that he committed the crime due to an old rivalry and there was no political link to the killings.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar said the government had taken a serious note of the killings.
"Strict action would be taken against the accused notwithstanding they are political leaders or workers," he said.
The minister said Shiv Sena leaders Diwakar Raote and Ramdas Kadam had visited Ahmednagar to calm the situation and prevent any flare-up whereas the NCP is playing politics on the issue.
"A police inspector from Ahmednagar police station has been suspended and a probe is on against other officials," said Kesarkar.
Sangram Kotkar, the son of deceased Sanjay Kotkar, had alleged that all the three legislators--the Jagtaps and Kardile--had threatened his father with dire consequences for helping a Shiv Sena candidate in the Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation bypolls.
Congress' Vishal Kotkar had defeated Shiv Sena's Vijay Pathare by 454 votes, with local Sena leaders claiming that the killings were related to the widespread support their party had garnered in the bypoll.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI