It was the culmination of an uneasy day following Kalmadi’s arrest by the CBI in the CWG scam and his subsequent suspension from the party.
At the time of going to press, police were conducting a spot panchnama and the process of registering a complaint was on. “We will file a case of rioting against the mob,” said senior PI Patil.
The glass door of the cabin, table top and window panes of the cupboard which had several mementos were smashed to pieces and chairs in the cabin were thrown around in the drama that lasted about ten minutes. Before running away, the youths down the posters of Kalmadi put up on the premises.
Senior police inspector of Shivajinagar police station Pandharinath Patil who rushed to the spot said, “Congress workers told us that they suspect the involvement of people from their own party. They may be members of the youth Congress.” The names of four suspects were given to the police who did not divulge them.
Congress city unit president Abhay Chhajed said those who attacked the Congress Bhavan were not from party workers. “It is the handiwork of those with a criminal mindset. Kalmadi has been suspended from the party, but there is no reason to attack the Congress Bhavan,” he said.
A team of about 25 police personnel and a riot-control vehicle rushed to the spot after receiving information, but the youths had fled by then. Party workers rushed to the Congress Bhavan after hearing about the incident.
“The youths were armed with sticks and a petrol bottle. They barged into Congress Bhavan and broke open the lock on Kalmadi’s cabin. It was dark, but some faces looked familiar and we have identified some. We will give the names to the police,” said corporator Arun Dhimdhime.
He was with another corporator Virendra Kirad and some party workers in another cabin on the premises when the incident happened.
“The mob threw stones damaging the panes. We tried to stop them. The bottle containing petrol broke near the stairs leading to the ground floor hall. I called the police immediately. Many fled on their motorcycles,” he said.