Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane’s son Nilesh Rane has stoked a controversy. The former MP is accused of kidnapping and beating up Sandeep Sawant, a local Congress leader, who heads the Congress unit in Chiplun, for not attending a rally on Maratha reservation that was convened by Nilesh.
Based on Sawant’s complaint, a case has been registered against Nilesh and four others, identified as Manish, Anna, Tushar and Kuldip Khanvilkar, at Thane Nagar police station.
Sawant, who is currently undergoing treatment at the Thane civil hospital, has alleged that Nilesh along with his bodyguards arrived at his house at Chiplun on Sunday night and abducted him. Sawant said he was kept in confinement and beaten up by Nilesh and his henchmen at Sindhudurg Bhavan, a trust run by the Ranes in Andheri.
Sawant’s wife, Shivani said: “He [Sawant] was kicked and punched and also assaulted with hockey sticks. We are stunned with what happened. My husband’s mother was not well and so, he did not attend the meeting, which probably angered Nilesh. When I got to know of what happened, I called up Neelam [Narayan Rane’s wife] and narrated the incident to her. Subsequently, my husband was dropped to my mother’s house at Jogeshwari on April 25.”
Sawant then contacted his relatives, who admitted him at the Thane civil hospital.
Nilesh, however, has denied the allegations. “Sawant wanted some money and because I refused to give it to him, he allied with my rivals and is defaming me. His aim is to undermine the issue of reservations for Marathas,” Nilesh told mediapersons.
While the Thane police have lodged a case of assault and kidnapping, no arrests have been made.
Senior police inspector M Dharmadhikari said, “The five accused have been charged under section 363, 324, 504, 504, 341, 452 of the IPC. We have transferred the case to the Chiplun police, who will probe the case.”