'Informed centre about attack on me': BJP's Kirit Somaiya. Sena's Raut says...
In Mumbai, the BJP vs Shiv Sena political battle continues for a second straight day hours after former MP Kirit Somaiya made explosive claims about threat to his life. He had said he was attacked by nearly 100 “Shiv Sena goons”, who tried to kill him, outside a Mumbai police station on Saturday night when he went to meet the MP-MLA couple, embroiled in a standoff with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Amravati MP Navneet Kaur and her husband, MLA Ravi Rana, were arrested on Saturday evening after they gave a ‘warning’ to the chief minister to chant ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ outside ‘Matoshree’, his Bandra home.
“I have informed about the attack to the home secretary at the centre. He has sought a report on the attack. A representative delegation will go to Delhi and meet the officials there,” Somaiya was quoted as saying by news agency ANI at a press briefing. Earlier he had put out tweets and shared a video to give details of the “assault” on him. Stones were allegedly thrown at his car, and the BJP leader said the police did not come for his help. But Mumbai Police said a case was filed over his complaint.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut downplayed Somaiya’s claims. “Kirit Somaiya is accused in the INS Vikrant case. He misled the country. If the public has expressed its anger against such people, then, the BJP should not be pained. The people of Maharashtra will not forgive such people,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
On April 7, the Trombay police had registered a first information report (FIR) against Somaiya and his son Neil for allegedly misappropriating about Rs. 57 crore collected through crowdfunding to save decommissioned INS Vikrant from being scrapped. The FIR was filed based on a complaint lodged by an ex-serviceman.
Somaiya was questioned on Monday by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW). The BJP leader secured interim protection from the Bombay high court on April 13 after his anticipatory bail application was rejected by a sessions court on April 11. His son got pre-arrest protection on Wednesday.
The BJP leader threw his weight behind the Rana couple on Saturday, attacking the rule government over their arrest. The city saw huge political drama throughout the day as Shiv Sainiks protested outside the couple's home.
Despite MLA Ravi Rana backing off, he and his wife were arrested for inciting public.
The Ranas have booked under Indian Penal Code 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and section 135 (violation of prohibitory orders of police) of the Maharashtra Police Act.
(With inputs from ANI)