Barwani/ Bhopal: A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised the Congress for coining the term ‘Hindu terror’ in a public rally, the Madhya Pradesh police seized a veritable arsenal — 17 crude bombs, 10 pistols and 111 bullets — from a BJP leader Sanjay Yadav’s house in Sendhwa town late Sunday night, the police said.
Yadav — known as a bahubali (muscle man) in these areas — joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two years ago with his younger brother, Jitu, and mother, Basanti Bai Yadav. His mother was elected unopposed as president of the Sendhwa municipality in January last year after all the candidates withdrew their nominations. The Congress had faced a lot of embarrassment over this.
The BJP leader was recently released on bail and has around 47 criminal cases registered against him.
Late Sunday night, a police team raided Yadav’s house in Daru Godam area and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, Barwani SP, Yang Chen Dolkar Bhutia, said in a press conference on Monday. The weapons were found in a big box kept in an almirah on the roof of the house, she said, adding that Yadav and his brother, Jitu, were absconding.
“We are not sure why the weapons were stored. We are investigating it,” the Suprintendent of Police (SP) said.
This development is significant ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, as the Yadav family wields considerable clout in Sendhwa, a segment of the Khargone parliamentary constituency that goes to polls in the final phase on May 19. The constituency is reserved for the Schedule Tribes and the BJP is facing massive anti-incumbency there.
Town inspector of Sendhwa city police station, Raju Singh Baghel, said experts were examining the weapons. “Only then can we say if these pistols are country-made or imported,” he said, adding that bomb disposal experts had been called to check the cache. A case has been registered against Sanjay Yadav, Sagar Chaudhary, Deepak and Hrithik under Sections 25(1), 27 of Arms Act and 4/5 Explosive Substance Act 1908.
Yadav and his aides were booked for the sensational firing at a rival, Gopal Joshi, in a court room of Sendhwa last year. Joshi is the main accused in the murder of Sanjay Zawar, then state secretary general of Bhartiya Janshakti Party, and was recently released on bail.
The Sanjay-Gopal feud is two decades old. The gangs are accused of extortion, threats, ransom, assault and murder. Yadav has around 47 criminal cases registered against him, while Gopal Joshi faces charges in over 30 crimes.
Bhutia said on March 30, there was a dispute between the two groups over molestation of a girl, which led to stone-pelting that injured a few people. Two FIRs were lodged against 30 people from both sides. Additional police forces had to be deployed in Sendhwa to keep tension in check.
On Sunday night, the police carried out simultaneous raids in the houses of three other accused and seized three pistols and ammunition. Three suspects were arrested, Bhutia said. Police have recommended action under National Security Act against Sanjay Yadav and Gopal Joshi.