Hanuman Chalisa row: Mumbai Police issue notice to Rana couple – The Hindu

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Independent MP Navneet Rana, her husband and MLA Ravi Rana. File | Photo Credit: PTI
The Mumbai Police have sent a notice to Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband, MLA Ravi Rana, intimating the duo that a chargesheet will be filed against them and directing them to be present before a local court in Bandra on June 8 in this connection.
The notice was sent by the Khar Police Station on June 4 to the Rana couple’s Mumbai residence. It said that the police will file a chargesheet based on a case filed against under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the Rana couple in court on Wednesday, June 8 and have accordingly directed the Ranas’ to be present.
Ms. Rana, the MP from Amravati, and Mr. Rana, an Independent legislator from Badnera (also in Amravati district), were arrested by the Mumbai Police on April 23 for “promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”. They were swiftly taken into police custody in a high voltage drama following their provocation to play the Hanuman Chalisa in front of Mr. Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’. A sedition charge was also slapped on them.
On May 5, a special court had granted them bail while imposing certain conditions which prohibited them from making statements related to the case to the press. The judge had also said that bail would be forfeited if the couple committed similar offences again.
The Mumbai Police on May 9 had approached the special court seeking that the Ranas’ bail be cancelled on the ground that they had allegedly violated the bail conditions.
Reacting to the fresh development, Mr. Rana hit out at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena for trying to “pressurise” him ahead of the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls.
Mr. Rana claimed that the CM and the ruling Shiv Sena, through their pressure tactics, were attempting to thwart him and other Independent MLAs from voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Upper House polls.
“This police notice is just a game…the Shiv Sena is attempting to stop me and other independent MLAs from voting for the BJP as it is aware that other Independents are in touch with me,” Mr. Rana said, speaking in Amravati.
With a high-stakes contest in the offing in the RS polls and independent MLAs playing a crucial role, Mr. Rana had earlier said that despite a section of them being with the ruling tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition on paper, all Independent legislators were actually gunning for the BJP — a statement which did not go down well with the Sena.
The BJP has fielded a third candidate and the Shiv Sena a second candidate for the sixth RS seat, where a fierce fight is expected to take place.
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Maharashtra / politics / Bharatiya Janata Party / crime
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