Campaigns for Graduate Elections in Konkan took vicious turn this weekend as Shivsena leader Eknath Shinde raised questions over Ishrat Jahan, a Mumbra girl allegedly killed in an encounter on her way to assassinate Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujrat.
Addressing a press conference for Sena’s first ever Graduate Constituency candidate Sanjay More, ex-Mayor of Thane, Eknath Shinde and Sanjay More reminded people of Ishrat Jahan, from Rashid Compound of Mumbra. Sanjay More recalled how late Vasant Davkhare, ex-MLA (NCP), father of BJP’s candidate for the same constituency Niranjan Davkhare, had visited Ishrat’s house offering them money. The women’s wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party had condemned this act then, with a letter signed by multiple BJP corporators. This act came back haunting Mr. Davkhare and their party, when in 2016, Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley was led by Adv Ujwal Nikam on video-conference to claim that Ishrat was an LeT operative.
Soon after, Sena MP Sanjay Raut demanded that all those who tried to portray Jahan as a martyr and sympathised with her should now be booked like those tried in the 26/11 terror attack case. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari had also demanded a probe against all the NCP leaders who had sympathised and tried to defend her, including Jeetendra Awhad and Davkhare father-son duo. Jitenda Awhad himself was seen getting on backfoot, when aside his usual theatrics, he accepted that he didn’t know the full picture.
Many alleged that the area in question too, Rashid Compound, has been safe heaven for multiple malpractices, blind-eyed by local NCP leaders. This same locality hosted Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s murderers, serial robbers, even ISIS members. NCP’s Mumbra Woman President based here was accused of child-trafficking, while the operation NCP MLA tried his best to suppress resulted in successful arrests of two most-wanted criminals. With thousands of illegal buildings, Rashid Compound is too hot to ignore. No wonder, AIMIM tried their luck there and won their first two seats in TMC last year.