The Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched the house of Shiv Sena leader and Uddhav Thackeray’s close friend Sanjay Raut in Mumbai from seven in the morning last Sunday. According to sources, Raut was interrogated for a long time. Raut was arrested at midnight, said his brother Sunil. Sunil said, “BJP is afraid of him. So he was framed. ED has not given us any documents. He will be produced in court at 11.30 am tomorrow.”
“I may be arrested,” Raut told reporters before entering the ED’s office. Then he said, “Jhukega Nahi.” According to sources, the ED has seized 11.5 lakhs unaccounted cash from Raut’s house.
After Raut was taken to the ED office Sunday, his lawyer Vikrant Sabne claimed that his client was not arrested or detained. Raut has been brought to the ED office for statement recording. In addition to this, he said, they have received a new summons. Several documents have already been given to ED. Recently some related documents have been seized. But ED did not take any documents related to ‘Patra Chawl’.
Raut was summoned for alleged inconsistency in the redevelopment of Mumbai’s ‘Patra Chawl’ (slum). Allegedly, in this case, the transactions of Raut’s wife and followers have also been caught.
Sanjay Raut’s brother Sunil said that 20-22 ED officers reached his brother’s house Sunday morning. They had a search warrant with them. But they did not get any document related to Patra Chawl case.
Earlier, Raut had faced ED on July 1. ED recorded the speech of the MP at that time. After that, despite being summoned twice, Raut avoided attendance by showing the busyness of the session in the Parliament. ED officials along with CRP arrived at Raut’s bungalow Maitri in Mumbai’s Bhandup Sunday morning. The search operation began.
Regarding the ED’s allegations, Raut has repeatedly denied the allegations of corruption. His counter-complaint is that he is being targeted for political purposes. In the words of Raut, “I swear in the name of late Balasaheb Thackeray, I am not associated with any kind of corruption.” After that he said that behind this incident is the ambition to weaken Maharashtra and Shiv Sena. But that effort will not be successful, said Raut.
Shiv Sena supporters’ protest
During ED’s search operation, a large number of Shiv Sena supporters gathered in front of Raut’s house. Continued to protest against the ED’s action. Slogans against ED were also chanted from the protest site with saffron flags and banners. At that time, Raut was seen waving to the supporters from the window. A large number of policemen were deployed outside the ED’s office in South Mumbai’s Ballard Estate yesterday as the matter of Raut’s custody was decided. The whole area is surrounded.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray fears that Raut may be arrested in connection with the ED campaign. Uddhav claims that there is a conspiracy to end his party.