By Edrich Miranda. Photograph by Trupti Arekar
A mammoth crowd of protestors converged near the controversial M. P. Gopal Shetty’s office at Sai Nagar, Borivali West, Mumbai. The protestors were led by Janet D’Souza, Minority Commission ex-chairperson.
Shetty who wasn’t in his office, at 3 pm, arrived by car and hurriedly addressed his party workers who had collected there and were constantly being urged over the public address system not to leave but to wait and meet the Christian protestors.
Gopal Shetty added salt to the wounds, by once again saying that he did not do any wrong and that it is some political party that is inciting his Christian brethren to protest due to the impending elections. Turning his ire to the Congress he said, “Congress angrazi ki aulad hai”.
Shetty continued the comparison of Rahul Gandhi's alleged tirade against RSS and BJP, and stated, nobody raises a hue and cry when Gandhi states that the RSS and BJP weren’t in the forefront of the freedom struggle. Some persons who claimed neutrality to either party said Gopal Shetty himself is of no use to his party, as he failed to redress a critical situation of the Palghar District, BJP Youth President, Bijendra Kumar, on whom a murderous attack was attempted and the police failure to promptly file an FIR.
Same was the case when Sachin Shetty, was mercilessly assaulted by Nagpada police, allegedly for refusing to give a bribe, Gopal Shetty had assured his community he would have the matter raised at the state assembly, which he failed to do. Some builders also say he reneged on his promises.
Janet D’Souza was unfortunately stopped a distance of half-a-kilometer from Shetty’s office by the police, with whom she argued that she has, “A right to peacefully agitate”.
She was visibally annoyed with police officials for arbitrarily obstructing the protestors advancement towards Shetty’s office, inspite of there being no prohibitory orders.
Two media crew vans, which had entered a field for safe parking, were blissfully unaware of what transpired half a kilometer away, as police had stopped protestors at three roads, thereby fragmenting the mammoth crowd.