Narrow escape for Nagpur Mayor as two men fire at his car

Gun, murder
The police suspect that members of the Rashid Malabari gang might have carried out the attack | Representative image: iStock

Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi had a narrow escape when two motorcycle-borne miscreants fired at his car on Wardha Road here in Maharashtra, a police official said on Wednesday.

The incident took place just around midnight on Tuesday when the BJP leader was returning home along with his family members and friends after celebrating his 24th wedding anniversary at a restaurant here, he said.

More than 30 of his friends attended the celebration and they all were returning in 10 to 15 vehicles, with Joshi driving the Mayor’s official car – a sports utility vehicle (SUV), the officer said.

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Joshi’s SUV was the last in the cavalcade and when it reached a junction of the Outer Ring Road and Wardha Road, the assailants, who were behind the car, fired three bullets at the mayor’s vehicle and fled, he said.

One bullet hit the driver’s window of the SUV, another pierced the passenger window behind the driver’s seat and the third hit the rear windshield of the car.

“Joshi was not hurt. He immediately stopped the car and alerted the police,” the officer said. Security personnel from Beltarodi police station rushed to the spot and conducted a ‘panchnama’ (collection of evidence and recording testimonies of witnesses), he said.

Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Kadam also visited the spot later in the night.

The police were examining CCTV footage of the area to ascertain the registration number of the motorcycle used by the attackers, the official said. “Both the accused were wearing helmets and the pillion rider fired at the mayor’s vehicle,” he said.

A case was registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) and provisions of the Arms Act, he added.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis condemned the attack.

BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said in the assembly, “It is a serious matter that the first citizen of Nagpur has been attacked in this way. This indicates the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s failure to maintain law and order in the state.”

Earlier this month, Joshi received two letters in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s complaint boxes, threatening him with dire consequences over removal of encroachments in the city, the official said. His official vehicle was also stolen from his residence last month but found within a day, he said, adding that one person was arrested in connection with the car theft. Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi had a narrow escape when two motorcycle-borne miscreants fired at his car on Wardha Road here in Maharashtra, a police official said on Wednesday.

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