Navneet’s ‘Challenge’ to Maha CM After Hosp Discharge; MP Speaks to Media Despite Order


Independent MP Navneet Rana, stepping out of the Lilawati Hospital after her earlier release on bail said ‘this was a religious fight’ and that ‘she would continue it.’

Talking to News18, Rana said ‘if reciting the Hanuman Chalisa was a crime, she would do it again and again’, issuing a ‘challenge’ to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The Amrawati MP was rushed to the hospital after being released from the Byculla jail, where she had been held after being placed in judicial custody. She had high blood pressure, chest pain, and bodily aches, according to reports. Her lawyers had previously claimed that she had been denied a medical examination and that if her illness worsened, the state would be held liable.

Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi were arrested by Mumbai Police on April 23. The Ranas had announced that they would recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence `Matoshree’ here, which angered workers of the Shiv Sena, Thackeray’s party, leading to tension.

The couple later dropped the plan, citing visit by prime minister Narendra Modi to the city the next day. But the police, nonetheless, booked them for sedition and `promoting enmity between different groups’ among other offenses.

In what seemed like a violation of her bail conditions, Rana said she would continue her ‘religious fight’. She was welcomed by BJP leader from Bandra Swapna Mathre who arrived outside the premises with an Aarti thali and claimed she supported ‘Rana as a woman’.

“I respect the order of the court. I will not talk about the case, but I was not treated well in the lockup,” she said. Judge R N Rokade of the special court for hearing cases against MPs and MLAs had laid down several conditions while granting Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana bail. “The accused shall not commit similar offences while being at large and shall not talk to the media on the subjects related to the case”, he had said.

“Ranas shall make themselves available for interrogation by the investigating officer as and when called,” the court had said, adding the investigating officer should give them at least 24 hours’ notice through e-mail or their registered mobile numbers.

“They shall not influence any witnesses or tamper with evidence or try to interfere with the investigation,” the court said, adding that the breach of any condition would lead to the cancellation of bail forthwith.

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