BJP leader Kirit Somaiya detained at railway station ahead of Kolhapur visit
Kirit Somaiya, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Lok Sabha member, was detained early on Monday at Karad railway station in Maharashtra’s Satara district and later taken to the Circuit House by Mumbai Police.
Somaiya was scheduled to Kolhapur later in the day to prove his allegations of corruption against minister Hasan Mushrif, an MLA from Kagal in the western Maharashtra district.
The Kolhapur district collector had issued prohibitory orders against him and imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, prohibiting gatherings on September 20 and 21.
Collector Rahul Rekhawar said Somaiya had been prohibited from entering the district "in view of the threat to his life and possibility of law and order situation due to his visit".
On Sunday, the former MP alleged that he was detained at his residence in Mumbai. Hitting out at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government, he wanted to know who had given orders to restrict his movement beyond Mumbai.
In a tweet, he said the Thackeray government was indulging in ‘dadagiri’ (highhandedness) and putting curbs on his movement even within Mumbai. He added Mulund police, under whose jurisdiction his Mumbai residence fell, wanted to arrest him but did not have a warrant or order in this regard.
"Thackeray Sarkar Dadagiri, Notice is for Kolhapur District NO ENTRY, but not allowing Me to move out from My House. Not allowing to go for Ganesh Visarjan. Mulund Police wants to ARREST Me, but No Warrant, No Order...it's total illegal," he wrote.
Somaiya has alleged Mushrif, a minister for rural development, amassed massive wealth through 'benami' entities in the name of his kin, allegations dismissed as baseless by the latter.
He also said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was laundering money to the tune of ₹127 crore following which Mushrif threatened to file a defamation suit against the former seeking at least ₹100 crore in damages.
Meanwhile, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil called the move "dictatorial" and said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government would not be able to stifle Somaiya's voice. He said the BJP and Somaiya would take these corruption cases to their logical end.
Somaiya had earlier levelled allegations of money laundering against cabinet ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Anil Parab.
(With inputs from agencies)