Digital Desk, Mumbai. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday evening detained Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in connection with the alleged money laundering in the Patra Chal land scam. He was questioned for several hours before being taken to the ED office for further action.
As Raut was escorted out of his Maitri bungalow, hundreds of his supporters waiting outside rushed to the spot and waved the saffron flag, while his wife Varsha, mother and other family members looked sad.
Raut told a private news channel over phone that he was fully cooperating with the ED and would not succumb to a well-planned political conspiracy to eliminate Shiv Sena. “I am not scared… there is no question of non-cooperation with the law, I am ready to sacrifice myself for Shiv Sena,” he said. ED team came early morning without giving any notice, no papers were received from me in this alleged case.
He reiterated that he was being pressured in the past to help topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (which fell on June 29) and termed the ED’s allegations against him as false. He said that he would not bow down to anyone, but would continue his fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Raut said he had sought time from the ED as he is busy with the upcoming vice-presidential election, for which he is coordinating with various opposition parties. Raut said, the party is behind me. Uddhav Thackeray is supporting me. We will not surrender to such pressures which aim to silence us and destroy Shiv Sena.
The MP’s brother MLA Sunil Raut told a private news channel that the ED could not locate certain documents related to the Patra Chawl case, due to which Sanjay Raut was detained and taken to the ED office. The ED action came after a raid on Raut’s Bhandup residence, Maitri, on Sunday morning and searches were conducted for over 9 hours.
After two summons was sent to Raut, the ED team reached his house. Raut had sought time till August 7 as he was busy with Parliament related work. Hearing the news of the detention, hundreds of Shiv Sainiks came out to protest, shouting slogans and condemning Raut’s detention.
The ED’s move comes a day before the crucial hearing before the Supreme Court related to the disqualification of 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. The government had deployed tight security by the Mumbai Police and the Central Reserve Police Force to avoid any untoward incident.
The ED had earlier questioned Pune-based businessman Avinash Bhosale in the DHFL Yes Bank case and sources claimed that they wanted to question Raut in this case as well.
Sources said that the ED’s Patra Chawl case is also related to the DHFL case. Raut earlier alleged on Twitter that he was being harassed on the instructions of the Centre. The ED had attached Raut’s assets in April in connection with the land scam.
The ED had attached assets worth Rs 9 crore of Raut’s aide Praveen Raut and Rs 2 crore of Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut. Praveen had eight land parcels in Alibaug and a flat registered in the name of Varsha Raut, which has been attached. ED had arrested Praveen in this case.
An ED official said, “We had filed a charge sheet against Praveen, Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Wadhawan of HDIL and Guru Ashish Construction and others in the case. The ED came to know during the investigation that Praveen had allegedly paid Rs 55 lakh to Varsha. This payment was made from the bank account of Praveen’s wife.
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