A day after a 14-year-old boy was booked by the Pant Nagar police for trespassing the ashram premises of Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya in Ghatkopar (east), NCP corporator Rakhee Jadhav has alleged that the police is acting at the behest of local BJP workers and protecting the accused in the ashram, who detained the boy for over two hours.
Jadhav alleged that local BJP MLA Prakash Mehta is defending the ashram members and supporting the organisation, despite they having illegally occupied the BMC-run Acharya Atre playground. "On Wednesday, he visited the ashram following the incident, but he didn't bother to meet the boy and his parents who stay close to the ground," she said.
"We wanted to meet him, and talk about the issue, but he left in his car without meeting us," the boy's father said.
Jadhav had taken out a protest rally against the spiritual organisation on Monday, where hundreds of residents had participated. "We received support from all parties except the BJP," she said.
Jadhav had raised the issue in the civic body's standing committee meeting on Wednesday, which according to her, received a lukewarm response from the civic administration. "The administration seemed to be casual on the issue. There were no discussion on it. The chairman of the standing committee just instructed the authorities to look into the matter," said Jadhav.
On Wednesday, Jadhav and the boy's parents also met police commissioner Rakesh Maria. "We have complained to him about the senior police inspector of Pant Nagar police station, who did not act fairly," she added.
The boy's parents claimed that on Sunday he had gone to collect a cricket ball that had fallen in the ashram premises while he was playing on the ground. According to them, the boy was intimidated and detained there for over two hours, following which an FIR was filed against him by the police. "There were a few other women from the ashram involved in this, but only two of them were booked by the police for wrongful confinement," the boy's mother said.
A member of the ashram, Brahma Kumari Harsha refused to acknowledge that they are being supported by the BJP. "I am not aware of anything of that sort. Moreover, the boy was with us only for 20-25 minutes. We have the CCTV evidence to prove that," she said.
Deputy commissioner of police Mahesh Gurye said, "It's a cross complaint. We have registered an offence and the investigation is on. So far, no arrests have been made."
Jadhav and the boy's parents will once again meet Maria on Thursday to discuss the issue.