The crime branch has given the clean-chit to revenue minister Narayan Rane’s son Nitesh, saying there is no evidence to arrest him on the basis of a complaint filed by Shamim Shaikh.
Shaikh alleged that on September 23, an angry Nitesh fired at him in his Khar office. After that, Shaikh alleged, two people from Nitesh’s office assaulted him, and his bodyguards chased and threatened to kill him. Inspector Sanjay Satardekar, from unit IX of the crime branch, has filed an affidavit in reply to a petition by Shaikh aka Chintu stating, “No prima facie case is made out to arrest the accused (Nitesh Rane). There is also no witness to the said incident.”
Satardekar stated the police had recorded statements of nearly 25 witnesses, some of whom were interviewed by the crime branch but none supported Shaikh’s allegations.
The inspector also pointed out medical evidence, which suggested the injuries on Shaikh’s face were not likely to have been caused by a bullet. He has also cited lack of forensic evidence and bloodstains or marks at the site of the incident.
A panel of four doctors from JJ Hospital, who examined both Shaikh and the medical evidence, said the injuries could not have been caused by a firearm. They did not find any bullet or metallic fragments as is generally found around bullet injuries.
Shaikh has moved the high court seeking transfer of investigation, apprehending that the police were likely to suppress material facts in view of Narayan Rane’s political position.
A division bench of justice s AM Khanwilkar and AP Bhangale, on Friday, adjourned the hearing, to allow Shaikh to submit a fresh affidavit of service to Narayan Rane. The Congress leader has been named as an added respondent in view of allegations levelled against him in the petition.