Mumbai: Both Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and Mumbai Police chief Sanjay Pandey Tuesday rejected Independent MP Navneet Rana’s allegations that she and her husband were mistreated in police custody.
The Ranas were arrested Saturday after they announced they were going to recite the Hanuman Chalisa at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence, ‘Matoshree’, wading into an already raging political controversy in the state over the use of loudspeakers by mosques.
Their announcement sparked aggressive protests by Shiv Sena members, resulting in Navneet and her MLA husband Ravi Rana being booked for allegedly creating animosity between communities, and sedition, among other charges.
Mumbai Police chief Sanjay Pandey countered the MP’s claim of mistreatment Tuesday by tweeting a video of Navneet Rana, the MP for Amravati, and her husband, the MLA for Badnera, sipping tea at a police station in Mumbai’s Khar.
“Do we say anything more,” Pandey said in a tweet.
Do we say anything more pic.twitter.com/GuUxldBKD5
— Sanjay Pandey (@sanjayp_1) April 26, 2022
Meanwhile, state Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil told reporters that the government had looked into Rana’s allegations and found no truth in them.
Rana wrote a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Monday, claiming that she was abused on the basis of her caste and was even refused water in police custody.
She claimed in the letter that her arrest had been at the behest of CM Thackeray, and asked the Lok Sabha Speaker to take strict action against Pandey and other police officers involved in the case.
Both Speaker Birla and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs have asked the Maharashtra government for an explanation.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister Walse-Patil told reporters in Mumbai that the state government would respond to the Lok Sabha Speaker, saying that Rana’s allegations were untrue.
Walse Patil said: “According to Navneet Rana’s complaint, we have looked into the allegations and there is no truth in them. Yet, since the Lok Sabha Speaker has asked for a report from the Maharashtra government, we will provide him with the necessary information.”
On Monday, Devendra Fadnavis, leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra assembly and a former chief minister, had compared the MVA government’s actions to the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, saying, “Whatever is happening in Mumbai today is at the behest of the CM’s office.”
Walse-Patil responded to these allegations Tuesday.
“The Mumbai Police are doing excellent work,” he said. “They are acting how they see fit according to the law.”
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)