Swords, guns, knives seized in Maha; BJP functionary arrested

A large haul of weapons, including over 170 guns, swords, machetes and knives, was recovered from the shop of a local BJP functionary in Maharashtra, police said Wednesday.

Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy chief of BJP's Dombivli city unit in Thane district, from whose store the seizure was made, has been arrested, police said.

The weapons were recovered in a raid conducted by the Kalyan Crime Branch, police said.

Kulkarni was arrested after police raided his fashion accessories store and recovered around 170 weapons, including air guns, swords and knives, an official said.

The raid was conducted at the shop located in Tilak Nagar area in Dombivli on Monday night and Kulkarni, 49, who owns the shop, was arrested Tuesday morning, police said.

A local BJP leader said Kulkarni is the vice president of the party's Dombivli unit.

"Following a tip-off, the raid was conducted at Tapasya House of Fashion, which sells fashion accessories and cosmetic products," a police officer said.

"Around 170 weapons, including eight air guns, 10 swords, 38 press button knives, 25 choppers, nine kukris, nine guptis (bladed weapon concealed in a wooden case), five knives, three axes and a sickle were recovered from the shop," he added.

These weapons were kept on sale at the shop, he said.

"The seized weapons are collectively worth Rs 1.86 lakh. The outlet has been in operation since seven months," the official said.

"Kulkarni had procured the arms from Crawford Market in south Mumbai, and from Punjab and Rajasthan," he said.

Kulkarni was Tuesday produced before a local court, which remanded him in judicial custody, police said.

The NCP demanded an explanation from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the arms seizure from the BJP functionary's fashion accessories store.

State NCP president Jayant Patil said the incident showed the manner in which the BJP wanted to rule.

"What kind of riots does the BJP want to incite by use of these weapons?" he said and demanded an explanation from Fadnavis on this issue.

"If the BJP office-bearers possess illegal weapons, there is no need of anti-social elements and terrorists. Looks like their work is done by the BJP office-bearers," he said.