Nitesh aide alleges police inaction
Even as some political parties accuse the Mumbai police of going soft on Revenue Minister Narayan Rane’s son, Nitesh, who has been booked for attempted murder, Chintu Shaikh, who Nitesh had allegedly fired at on Thursday, has claimed that the Khar police have not recorded his statement.
Shaikh (35), who works for Nitesh’s non-governmental organisation, Swabhimaan, had alleged that Nitesh fired at him at the NGO’s Khar office when he went there to distribute sweets to celebrate his son’s birth. Shaikh said the bullet ricocheted off a bulletproof glass pane and hit his cheek.
Shaikh, who is at JJ Hospital, Byculla, alleged that the car in which he drove from Khar to LH Hiranandani Hospital in Powai after he was injured, is still in the custody of the Powai police. “Officers from Khar police station have not bothered to conduct the panchnama of my Indigo, which has blood stains,” Shaikh alleged.
The Khar police said the Powai police had already recorded Shaikh’s statement on the day of the incident and that the panchnama of Shaikh’s car had been done. “The blood stains in the car do not corroborate his theory,” investigating officer Baburao Mukhedkar said.
Shaikh claimed that two days before the incident a shopping centre at Khar had caught fire. “I later learnt that Nitesh had suffered huge losses due to this and he was in a foul mood,” Shaikh said. “I was not aware of this that day and started distributing sweets. Nitesh abused me and his bodyguards assaulted me. When I abused them for attacking me, Nitesh pulled out a gun and fired at me.”
Shaikh said Nitesh’s office has close-circuit television cameras but Mukhedkar denied this. The police said they did not find evidence to corroborate Shaikh’s version. “It is important for us to ascertain the motive behind the incident,” said Mukhedkar. “If it is ascertained that Shaikh cooked up the story then we will grill him to ascertain his motives.”
Doctors at Hiranandani hospital had said it did not look like a bullet had caused Shaikh’s injury. The police are waiting for reports from JJ Hospital to know the nature of the injury.
The police have recorded statements of more than 25 people, including Nitesh.