Now, NCP Leader Wants to Recite Hanuman Chalisa Near Modi’s House, Ranas Sent to Taloja Jail

After MP-MLA couple’s high voltage face-off with Shiv Sena over recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, an NCP leader from Mumbai, Fahmida Hasan has written to Union home minister Amit Shah to grant permission to chant the same Hindu devotional hymn outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence.

Hasan has demanded to chant devotional versus from other religions too, along with Hanuman Chalisa. “These chants will help in solving national issues like unemployment, inflation and low GDP in the country,” the NCP leader said in her sarcasm-laced letter.

The Hanuman Chalisa row in Maharashtra began after independent MLA Ravi Rana and his wife, Amravati MP Navneet Rana, announced that they would recite the chant outside chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence. This came in the wake of MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s ultimatum that the party would recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques if their loudspeakers were not removed by May 3.

The Rana couple had demanded that Uddhav Thackeray should chant it on Hanuman Jayanti outside Matoshree, failing which they said they would come to Mumbai and recite it outside Matoshree. The dare didn’t go down well with the Shiv Sainiks, who barged into their house, ‘threatened’ them and ‘heckled’ them. Hundreds of workers long with Mumbai police guarded Matoshree on the day of MP-MLA’s planned protest.

By Saturday evening, the issue snowballed and the two leaders were taken into custody and booked for “promoting enmity between different groups” by Khar police. The couple in turn submitted a written complaint to Mumbai Police requesting it to book Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena leaders Anil Parab, Sanjay Raut as well as 700 people present outside their residence.

On Sunday, they were presented before the holiday bench of the Bandra court, which sent them to judicial custody for 14 days. The Mumbai police also arrested some Shiv Sainiks, following Ranas’ complaint. So far a total of 16 workers have been arrested, the search for the rest is on. Mumbai police said that they will present them all in a court on Monday.

Meanwhile, Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana were shifted to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai late on Sunday. Ravi was earlier lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, while Navneet was sent to Byculla women’s jail. But the duo had to be moved out due to “overcrowding”.

Mumbai Police have slapped the sedition charge on the Independent lawmaker couple. “Charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 124-A (sedition) are made out against them as they had challenged the government machinery and made remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray,” public prosecutor Pradip Gharat said.

The court will hear their bail application on April 29, he added. Under Section 124A of IPC, the offence of sedition is committed when any person by words or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law.

Speaking to reporters in Nashik, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil termed “appropriate” the arrest of the Rana couple.

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