Palghar : The Waliv police in Vasai east arrested seven persons and are searching for another half-a-dozen who clashed with each other with slicks, lathis and iron rods over tanker water distribution on Saturday evening.

Locals say that a previous lingering animosity between two local political rivals was the main reason behind this scuffle and not water distribution which snow-balled into a riot like situation.

Around four of them were bleeding profusely as they received cuts during this scuffle and had to be admitted in a local hospital.

It all started when one group objected to tanker water distribution which was ordered by the newly elected corporator from Waliv. When the tanker driver, named Akhil, denied to take his orders and continued the distribution, he was mercilessly beaten up by the mob. Not taking this insult and in order to equal the matter, the corporator along with his group attacked the mob which took an ugly turn and soon a riot-like situation was seen.

On getting the information, police immediately swung into action and dispersed the mob, sent the bleeding persons to the hospital and took a couple of them into custody.

Tanker lobby is still active in Vasai – Virar and supplies water to all illegal localities which are also visible in the industrial belt like Waliv and Sativili. People over here live in makeshift rooms, chawls and illegal load bearing buildings. Illegally constructed industrial galas and factories also depend on water tankers to fulfill their water needs and such fights are often seen but on a minor level.

In all, around a dozen persons have been booked and the hunt is on for the absconders. All have been booked under various sections 324, 326, 147, 148, 427, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

Vishal Rajemahadik

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