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Mumbai: High-voltage drama culminates in arrest of MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana

Earlier, livid Shiv Sena workers broke through the barricades and tried to enter the Rana residence

Sanjay Jog | Updated on: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 11:00 PM IST


Police try to stop Shiv Sena activists who broke through police barricades set up outside MLA Ravi Rana and Navneet Kaur's residence, at Khar
 | Photo: Bhushan Koyande
Police try to stop Shiv Sena activists who broke through police barricades set up outside MLA Ravi Rana and Navneet Kaur's residence, at Khar | Photo: Bhushan Koyande
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Mumbai: There was high-voltage drama on Saturday outside the residences of both MP Navneet Rana and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, with Shiv Sena activists converging in large numbers and shouting slogans. They dared the Rana couple to visit Matoshree and recite Hanuman Chalisa while the former, undeterred by warnings from Shiv Sena activists, reiterated their resolve to do so.

However, later, the couple cancelled their Matoshree plan on the plea that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving in Mumbai and they would not like to create a law and order situation; with the Rana duo backing off, the administration seized the opportunity and arrested them for allegedly “creating enmity between different groups' ' under section under section 153 (A) of the IPC. Prior to the arrest, the police escorted the couple out of their house in suburban Khar.

Earlier, livid Shiv Sena workers broke through the barricades and tried to enter the Rana residence. However, the police brought the situation under control and stopped the workers from proceeding any further.

Shiv Sena activists also gathered outside the Matoshree and asked the Rana couple to desist from sparring in the media and instead carry out their Hanuman Chalisa threat.

To make a mockery of the couple’s claim, a group of young Shiv Sena activists even recited Hanuman Chalisa in front of the former’s Khar residence and sang bhajans. The belligerent party leaders and workers said they will not let the couple go back without 'prasad,' "if they dared to turn up".

Navneet Rana, in turn, claimed that she and her family were not being allowed to step outside the house on the Chief Minister’s orders. In a social media post, the couple said, ‘’The police aren't allowing us to step outside our house. Shiv Sena workers are trying to attack our residence. We've always considered 'Matoshree' a temple. Uddhav is only seeking political gains.’’

Incidentally, Navneet Rana was wearing saffron saree while her husband MLA Ravi Rana had a saffron uparna coiled around his neck

A 92-year-old granny Chandrabhaga attracted the attention of Shiv Sena leaders and activists and also of the media. ‘’I am hardcore Shiv Sena activist. Our Saheb (Uddhav Thackeray) is in crisis and we will tackle it collectively. We will not bow down. Let Rana couple dare to come to Matoshree,’’ she said. ‘’Balasaheb (Thackeray) should have been alive now but he must be proud of his Shiv Sainiks,’’ she noted.

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai, while talking to reporters outside Matoshree, said, "MLA Ravi Rana and MP Navneet Rana have precipitated a law and order situation. They were prompted to do this by someone. Shiv Sena workers are here to protect Matoshree. The police are taking care of the situation".

"We are waiting; we'll keep Hanuman Chalisa in front of us. We're waiting to teach them a lesson", Kishori Pednekar said.

On his part, Ravi Rana said, "I requested Uddhav Thackeray to recite Hanuman Chalisa on Hanuman Jayanti. The CM doesn't come to the Vidharbha. He hasn't come to Mantralaya for two years. With all these problems in Maharashtra, I asked him to recite Hanuman Chalisa. Uddhav Thackeray has forgotten Hindutva."

Navneet Rana, meanwhile, claimed that her residence at Amravati had been attacked. However, the Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil refuted her charges. ‘‘I have personally spoken to the police over there, the situation is under control and protection is being provided at her residence,’’ he said.

Walse-Patil alleged that the couple was creating ruckus at the behest of someone else and argued that they want to tarnish the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's image and vitiate the atmosphere in the state. ‘‘Where is the need to chant Hanuman Chalisa outside 'Matoshree'? They can do it at their residence. They're doing this at the behest of somebody", the Home Minister said.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut agreed that Rana couple’s protest was part of a conspiracy. ‘’Will Shiv Sainiks sit quietly if someone from outside says that they'll come &chant Hanuman Chalisa at Matoshree? If you try to come to our residence, then we also have the right to respond in kind. Don't hold out the threat of imposing President's Rule here," said Raut.

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Published on: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 11:00 PM IST