Thursday’s shooting involving state revenue minister Narayan Rane’s son, Nitesh, took a political turn on Friday with the Opposition accusing the Congress-led state government of going soft on the 28-year-old.
The police are yet to arrest Nitesh. They booked him for attempt to murder on Thursday night after a bullet he allegedly fired at his organisation Swabhimaan’s Khar office ricocheted off a bulletproof glass pane and hit an activist, Chintu Shaikh, on the cheek. Shaikh works for Swabhimaan’s public transport union wing.
The Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party jumped at the opportunity to get even with Rane, a former Sainik. “Nitesh should be arrested immediately and Rane should resign from the Cabinet,” Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said.
The police said they booked Nitesh for attempt to murder on the basis of Shaikh’s statement. “We can arrest him only if we have conclusive evidence,” said additional commissioner of police (west), Amitabh Gupta.
Rane told journalists on Friday that this was a conspiracy by the Sena to defame him. “Sena executive president, Uddhav Thackeray, had called Chintu Shaikh twice,” Rane alleged.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the government will not interfere in the case. “The truth will come out. Let the law take its course,” Chavan said.
Doctors at Hiranandani hospital, Powai, said Shaikh’s injury does not look like a bullet wound.