While several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders knocked on the doors of the central leadership in Delhi, on Monday, 25 April, over the law and order situation in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena alleged that the BJP was the mastermind behind the unrest created in Mumbai over the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa by independent Lok Sabha MP from Amravati Navneet Rana and her husband and Badnera MLA Ravi Rana.
The Ranas, who were sent to 14-day judicial custody on 24 April after being arrested and slapped with sedition, were used by the BJP to create unrest in the capital, the Sena said.
Meanwhile, the 16 Shiv Sena workers who were arrested by the Khar Police on Monday were granted bail by a court on Tuesday, and have since been released.
"There is no ban on chanting Hanuman Chalisa in the state. So, why the quest to chant it outside Matoshree? The plan has been masterminded by the BJP. With the Rana couple in the forefront, the party wanted to create unrest in Mumbai and acted accordingly," an editorial in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece Saamana said.
Accusing the BJP of backing a leader with a "criminal background", the Sena editorial said: "Lord Ram was the epitome of truthfulness and Lord Hanuman was his loyal follower. Leaders like Navneet Rana, who have come to power on the basis of falsehood, are doing politics over Hanuman Chalisa and the BJP is encouraging it," the editorial said.
The editorial also alleged that Navneet Rana had forged her caste documents in order to be elected as the MP from Amravati, which is a reserved candidature seat.
Further training guns at BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, a vocal critic of the Thackeray government, the editorial said that the BJP had devised a scheme to provide central security to the leaders who attack the Thackeray government.
Hope to Rekindle the Flame of Hindutva in Shiv Sena, Not Incite Religious Tensions: Navneet Rana
Meanwhile, Amravati MP Navneet Rana, on Tuesday, wrote to the Lok Sabha speaker saying that "it is my honest and bona fide belief that Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray completely strayed from its avowed Hindutva principles for obvious reasons since it wanted to betray public mandate and form post-poll alliance with INC-NCP."
Further, she added:
"I, with the sincere hope to rekindle the flame of Hindutva in Shiv Sena had declared that I shall go to the residence of the Chief Minister and chant the 'Hanuman Chalisa' outside his residence. This was not meant to incite any religious tensions."
BJP Delegation Meets Home Secretary in Delhi
The Sena's attack comes the same day a delegation led by Somaiya met the home secretary in Delhi over the law and order situation in the state,
Speaking to the media later, Somaiya said that the delegation was assured that a special team from Delhi would be sent to Maharashtra if necessary.
In a letter to the home secretary, the delegation mentioned that Somaiya's car was allegedly attacked by Sena workers on 23 April and that several CISF personnel were also beaten up. The letter further said that the attack was the third such incident and that an SIT must be formed by the home ministry to review the law and order situation in the state.
Somaiya had earlier taken to Twitter to detail the agenda of the meeting in a video message.
Fadnavis Writes to Home Secy
Meanwhile, in a letter to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Maharashtra LoP Devendra Fadnavis demanded strict action in connection with the attack on BJP leader Kirit Somaiya's car.
In the letter, Fadnavis alleged that Mumbai Police, the country’s best police force, was acting as the personal staff of the MVA government.
Ranas in Jail, Sedition Charges Invoked
The Mumbai Police has, according to media reports, shifted Navneet Rana to the Byculla women's jail in Mumbai, while Ravi Rana was taken to Taloja jail in the neighbouring Navi Mumbai. This, as per ANI, is due to overcrowding at Arthur Road jail.
The Maharashtra government has slapped sedition charges against the couple for spreading hate and dislike against the government and the chief minister. The couple was sent to 14-day judicial custody after being produced in the court on 24 April.
The Ranas were booked under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
The couple had applied for bail on Sunday itself.
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