Bandh in Jalgaon over arrest of Suresh Jain

Jalgaon/Nashik: Commercial establishments in north Maharashtra's Jalgaon town remained closed in response to the bandh call given by Shiv Sena in the protest against arrest of former minister and MLA Suresh Jain in 2006 Gharkul Housing Scheme scam.

Hotels and shops in the city remained closed even as the educational institutes were given holiday on the occasion of Rang Panchmi.

However, the students appearing for the ongoing senior secondary board exam had to face some hardships in the wake of bandh though the police force was deployed in the city to prevent any untoward incident.

Jain, who was a Minister for Housing during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in the 1990s, was yesterday arrested for allegedly favouring a builder and indulging in irregularities to the tune of Rs 29 crore.

Jain had allegedly indulged in irregularities to the tune of Rs 29 crore and had favoured Khandesh Builders, a firm that was given a contract for constructing tenements under the Gharkul housing scheme.

Former municipal commissioner of Jalgaon Pravin Gedam had registered a complaint in this connection in 2006.

So far, four persons, including former mayor of Jalgaon Pradip Raisoni, director of Khandesh Builders Major Nana Wani, one Raja Mayoor and the former chief officer of Jalgaon Municipal Council P D Kale, have been arrested in January in this connection and are presently in Jalgaon jail.

Jain's arrest came after police acquired some case- related documents from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO) office in Mumbai on Friday.

Out of the 5,000 tenements to be developed under the housing scheme on the outskirts of Jalgaon, only about 1,500 have been completed so far, the sources said.

Jain, who was remanded in police custody till March 19, was last night shifted to neighbouring Amalner fearing a backlash from his supports over arrest.