Kulkarni had a clothing store, Tapasya House of Fashion, at Arihant buildings in Tilak Nagar, Dombivali from where he was selling illegal weapons
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Maharashtra has been arrested after the Crime Branch recovered a huge cache of weapons from his clothing shop in Dombivli on Tuesday.
Dhananjay Kulkarni, 49, who is the vice-president of the Dombivli unit of the BJP in Thane, was found to be hiding 170 weapons including 10 choppers, an airgun, 62 pistols, 38 button knives, an axe and other sharp weapons worth Rs 2 lakh in his shop. Distancing themselves from the issue, state BJP leaders said that Kulkarni did not any hold any post in the party any longer.
As per reports, Kulkarni purchased these weapons from Crawford market from dealers in Punjab and Rajasthan to sell them. Kulkarni has been sent to judicial custody. Kulkarni had a clothing store, Tapasya House of Fashion, at Arihant buildings in Tilak Nagar, Dombivali from where he was selling illegal weapons, as per a senior official quoted in IE report. The police had received a tip-off of the illegal sale of weapons from his shop.
A decoy customer was sent to the shop on Monday night and it was confirmed that there were illegal weapons in the shop which was then raided on Tuesday and Kulkarni was arrested. “He claims that he was selling the weapons because he wanted to make money quickly to pay off loans,” an officer was quoted in the report. Kulkarni had reportedly taken many loans for his garment business.
Meanwhile, a war of words ensued between the opposition and the ruling BJP post the arms seizure. The Opposition attacked Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and the BJP party.
NCP state president Jayant Patil demanded an “explanation” from the CM Fadnavis, and asked, “What is the BJP planning to do with the use of such illegal weapons?” Patil also likened the BJP workers to anti-social elements.
Congress demanded a high-level investigation into the arms seizure with the party’s state spokesperson Sachin Sawant saying, “The BJP senses defeat in the upcoming polls, and has begun resorting to religious polarisation and inciting violence. We are demanding an independent high-level inquiry in the matter.” Sawant also demanded that homes of all the BJP workers should be checked in the state.
The local BJP, however, defended the issue saying that Dhananjay Kulkarni was selling antique weapons which are used for public rallies or fancy dress competitions and deemed it as a case of business rivals maligning him, IE reported.
The police are now trying to identify the trail of the weapons and are also probing if any of his weapons had been brought and if so, by whom.