Nagpur Mayor escapes unhurt after attack on his car

Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi. (DH File photo)

In a shocking incident, Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi was attacked by unidentified assailants around midnight.

Joshi (49),  a BJP leader, is a trusted lieutenant of former Maharashtra Chief Minister and now the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis.

Two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle fired towards him while he was travelling in his SUV near the Jamtha Cricket Stadium on the Wardha Road,  nearly 20 to 25 kms away from main Nagpur city.

The incident comes at a time when the winter session of the Maharashtra legislature is underway in Nagpur,  the winter capital of the state.

"If Mayor is not safe,  how will law and order machinery run... we demand that the accused are arrested at the earliest," Fadnavis told reporters in the Vidhan Bhavan complex. "This is a very serious issue," he added.

Joshi has received threats in the past.  "Yes... I had received threats, maybe because of the anti-encroachment drive that we are carrying out... that's what the police is suspecting and told me," said Joshi. 

The firing took place when Joshi was returning from a dinner organised on occasion of his wedding anniversary.  

Three rounds were fired - one hit the window on driver's side,  another in the middle section and third in the rear glass. Joshi was himself at the wheels and escaped unhurt.  

He has now been given a security cover. 

The Nagpur City Police and Nagpur Rural Police are making investigations. 

He had received two threat letters - one dropped in a complaint box of Sadar office of Nagpur Municipal Corporation and another at his residence. 

Asked whether there is political rivalry,  Joshi said that all parties have supported the anti-encroachment drive.

Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Kadam said that police has secured CCTV footage of the dhaba where the Joshi family and their friends had dinner. 

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