After notice on first, claims on irregularities of second bungalow of Uddhav Thackeray
After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) served a notice for conducting inspections to check any illegal constructions in his bungalow at Juhu, Union minister Narayan Rane launched an all-out attack on Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, his family and the Shiv Sena. Rane alleged that there were irregularities in the second bungalow built by Thackeray family near the Matoshree bungalow in Bandra which was later regularised by the authorities. He also said the investigation in deaths of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and his former manager Disha Salian, was not over yet and reiterated his allegations that there was cover-up after the duo’s murder.
Rane alleged that Matoshree-2, a new 6-storey residence of the Thackeray family, had irregularities which were regularised after paying penalties during the previous BJP- Shiv Sena regime. The building is located near the old Matoshree building at Kalanagar in Bandra East.
Rane said that all details of properties owned by the Thackeray family have been given to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by him. “(NCP minister Chhagan) Bhujbal was jailed for two-and-a-half years. (Those staying in) Matoshree (the Thackeray family residence at Bandra) have committed the same offence. They also have the same CA (Chartered Accountant),” he alleged. Rane, who had a bitter falling out with Uddhav Thackeray in the Shiv Sena and quit the party in 2005 (Sena leaders say he was expelled), claimed that soon, three members of the Thackeray family and one of their relatives would get a notice from the Enforcement Directorate.
The union minister of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) also insisted that the investigation in deaths of Rajput and Salian was yet not over.
The 34-year-old actor passed away on 14 June 2020 in Mumbai. The Mumbai police had initially concluded it as death by suicide. There were allegations that this was linked to Salian’s death on 8 June and the case, which was being probed by the Mumbai Police, was later transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “On 8 June, Disha Salian was raped and murdered. She did not want to go to the party, yet was forced to go... who all were there? Who was given police protection?” asked Rane. “Salian’s post-mortem report was not finalised even seven months on. The page for June 8 in the (visitors) register of her building is not there. Who tore it?” he questioned.
“When Sushant Singh came to know about this, he said somewhere that he will not spare the perpetrators. Some went to his home, there was an argument and he was killed. Then, which minister’s vehicle was standing there? How did the building’s CCTVs disappear?” he claimed, adding that evidence was destroyed. “This will be probed,” Rane said, indicating that dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze was likely to spill the beans. Rane was, however, evasive when asked about why the CBI had been unable to make any breakthroughs in the Sushant and Salian cases. The central agency has been investigating the case for over a year now. “Murder cases are never closed. Even if a file is closed, it can be opened... There is no point in telling you what should be told to the CBI,” he claimed.
Rane also attacked Thackeray’s style of functioning and also denied any wrongdoing or illegality in the construction of his bungalow on Juhu-Tara road, which he occupied on September 17, 2009. The BMC served him a notice on Thursday.
Meanwhile, launching a no-holds-barred attack on Rane, the Shiv Sena raked up alleged criminal cases against him, and said it would ask home minister Dilip Walse Patil to probe them. Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut also launched a fresh volley at senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, with whom he is in a running battle, and charged that Somaiya had invested ₹260 crore in a real-estate project at Vevoor in Palghar, where his son Neil and wife Medha were directors. Raut also alleged that a joint director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had invested his benami money in the project. “Khoda pahad aur nikla kachra,” said Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP from Sindhudurg Vinayak Raut, while ridiculing the claims made by Rane in a press conference earlier on Saturday. “This is a sorry attempt by Narayan Rane to stay in the good books of the BJP,” he added. During the budget session of Parliament, Shiv Sena MPs will raise the issue of Rane misusing his position to threaten others with action by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Vinayak Raut, who defeated Rane’s son Nilesh in 2014 and 2019, charged that Rane’s reign over Sindhudurg district had seen cases of murder, extortion and assaults and referred to the murders of political activists like Shridhar Naik, Ramesh Govekar, Satyavijay Bhise and Ankush Rane. “Not just the people of Sindhudurg, entire Maharashtra knows who was behind these murders,” he charged. A video of then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis referring to the criminal cases against Rane (then in the Congress) was also played at the press conference. Vinayak Raut said they would meet home minister Dilip Walse Patil to seek that these cases against Rane be probed. A clip wherein Somaiya accused Rane of money laundering was also played.
Mayor Kishori Pednekar said she was upset as a woman and also as the first citizen of Mumbai after allusions about Salian’s sexual assault and murder were made despite her parents saying that this was untrue. Terming this as “character assassination” of Salian, Pednekar asked Rupali Chakankar, who heads the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, to initiate action and also called on women across party lines to raise their voice against this. Pednekar also questioned if the CBI had taken any action in the case.
Referring to allegations made by Somaiya against Rane in the past, Sanjay Raut dared the BJP leader to pursue them.
(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)