Fresh Case Likely Against Ranas After Sena’s Sanjay Raut Alleges Couple’s Links With Dawood Gang

In another setback to independent MP Navneet Kaur-Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana, the Economic Offense Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police is likely to register a case now against the politician couple.

The development comes after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut accused the Rana couple of taking Rs 80 lakh from builder and film financier Yusuf Lakdawala via illegal transaction. The latest will be a fresh case against the Rana couple.

Lakdawala has previously been arrested by the EOW.

The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday sought a factual report from the Maharashtra government over Independent Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana’s allegation about her arrest and “inhumane treatment” by the police, officials said. The Amaravati MP was arrested on Saturday along with her MLA-husband Ravi Rana for giving a call for the chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai.

The home ministry sought a factual report from the Maharashtra government on Rana’s allegation about her arrest and “inhuman treatment” allegedly meted out at Mumbai’s Khar police station, a home ministry official said. The move came after the Lok Sabha Privilege and Ethics Committee asked the Home Ministry to seek a report from the Maharashtra government.

Jailed Independent MP Navneet Kaur on Tuesday submitted a complaint to the Nagpur police demanding registration of a case under the SC/ST Act against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut for certain comments made by him against her. The complaint was submitted to Nagpur police commissioner Amitesh Kumar by Navneet Rana’s personal assistant Vinod Guhe.

In her complaint, the Lok Sabha MP from Amravati, who claims to be a Dalit, referred to a press conference where Raut had called her (and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana who is also under arrest) ‘Bunty Aur Babli ‘ (con characters in a Hindi film) and ‘420’ (cheater). Without mentioning the politician couple, Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, had warned, “Don’t mess with the Shiv Sena and ‘Matoshree’ (private residence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai), or else you’ll be buried 20 ft deep.” Navneet Rana also highlight Raut’s statement in which he said that if anyone tried to challenge ‘Matoshree’, “they should keep materials for their last rites ready”.

Against the backdrop of these comments, the Lok Sabha MP sought registration of an offence under the stringent Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act agianst Raut. When contacted, police commissioner Kumar confirmed that the complaint was received and said the matter was under investigation.

Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana, the MLA from Badnera in Amravati district, had given a call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa (hymns dedicated to Lord Hanuman) on Saturday outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private home ‘Matoshree’. They eventually dropped their plan but were arrested by the Mumbai police and booked under various sections of the IPC, including those related to sedition and promoting enmity between different groups.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court Monday dismissed a writ petition filed by the lawmaker couple seeking that one of the two FIRs registered against them under section 353 of the IPC be quashed.The court said the petitioners and all others occupying public positions must act more responsibly and show respect towards other public persons.

“As is often said, with great power comes great responsibility,” a bench of Justices P B Varale and S M Modak observed, adding they found no merit in the plea filed by the Rana couple. The bench, however, said that if the police decide to arrest the Ranas or take any other coercive action against them based on the second FIR, it must give them notice of 72 hours.

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