In yet another indication of the deteriorating law & order situation in MVA-ruled Maharashtra, two kerosene bombs were hurled at the office of Shankar Jagtap, a builder and brother of BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap, on Tuesday afternoon in Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune.
No one was hurt in the incident as the occupants of the office were inside the building.
Pimpri Chinchwad police said the incident took place around 2.30 pm at the office of Shankar Jagtap, located in Pimple Saudagar in Pimpri Chinchwad area. They have launched a manhunt to nab the suspects after CCTV footage from the area showed three persons hurling the bombs.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 2) Anand Bhoite said, “The CCTV footage shows three persons on the bike and hurling these kerosene-filled bottles used as crude bombs, with possibly a cloth being used as a wick. Upon preliminary investigation, the fuel seems to be kerosene. At the time of the incident, the office was open and Shankar Jagtap was present inside.”
DCP Bhoite further said, “One of the bombs struck at a distance near the gate of the compound and another hit next to the door of the office. After striking, these bottles burst into flames but no one was hurt.”
MLA Laxman Jagtap started his career with the Congress, before joining Sharad Pawar’s NCP in 1999. In his long political career, he has served as Mayor of the twin towns and standing committee chairman of PCMC (Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation) while in NCP. He became Member of Legislative Council (MLC) in 2004, and left NCP in 2009, the same year he became MLA as an independent.
In 2014, Jagtap joined BJP and was elected as MLA once again. He played a major role in bringing BJP back to power in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Jagtap once more won the Assembly elections in 2019 as a BJP candidate. He is credited for doing a lot of development work in the twin towns through his initiative, ‘Naate Jivhalache, Karya Samruddhiche’.
Political observers are not ruling out the possibility that this attack on Laxman Jagtap’s brother’s office is a payback of sorts by the NCP-Congress combine against their former leader. Especially given the way anti-BJP violence has been legitimized by the institutional and judicial apathy towards the vicious post-poll ‘Khela Hobe’ pogrom launched against BJP supporters by TMC in West Bengal.