Shiv Sena member of Parliament Sanjay Raut, Bharatiya Kamgar Sena union president Suryakant Mahadik and corporator Tukaram Nikam were granted bail by a local court on Tuesday hours after their arrests in connection with the vandalism at a five-star hotel last week.
On January 21, about 300 Sena activists had taken a
procession to Hotel Intercontinental at Sahar to protest the sacking of 21 employees. The demonstration turned violent and the sainiks allegedly vandalised the property.
Raut, Mahadik and Nikam were arrested in the morning and produced before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate’s court, which remanded them to judicial custody till February 5. Their counsel Manohar Nayak immediately filed bail applications.
Magistrate K.R. Chaudhari granted them bail of Rs 5,000 each, observing that the police have not attributed specific roles to the accused.
Sources said directions to arrest Raut came from the Centre after Jyotsna Suri, wife of late Lalit Suri, the owner of Intercontinental Group, reportedly met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi a few days ago.
Defending the attack, Raut said: “Twenty-one workers who tried to form a union under the Sena banner were given pink slips four months back citing recession as the reason. But the real reason was that the management did not want a Sena union,” said Raut, who is also the editor of the Sena mouthpiece Saamna.
“We were trying to pursue the management to change the decision… but it seems they forgot they are running the hotel in Mumbai… When a Sena delegation went to meet the management on January 21, it closed the doors… therefore, they decided to make a forceful entry.”
The court directed Raut, Mahadik and Nikam to visit the Sahar police station twice a week.