Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday detained Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut for alleged involvement in the Patra Chawl land scam. The action was taken after the ED conducted searches at Raut’s residence. The search and questioning carried on for nearly nine hours. Later, the ED officials asked Raut to join them at their offices for further interrogation. He went to the offices in his own car.
During the ED search, hundreds of Shiv Sena workers, holding saffron flags and banners gathered outside Raut’s residence. Additional commissioner Dnyaneshwar Chavan of the central region and additional commissioner (special branch) Rajiv Jain were at the location to monitor the situation.
Raut has claimed that he has nothing to with the case and that the allegations against him are part of political vendetta. While leaving Raut waved to his supporters and maintained his stand. He said, “Sanjay Raut won’t be cowed down”.
Raut has always stood strongly behind Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, especially through the rebellion that the party faced from its own MLAs. This is when 40 of the party’s MLAs rebelled against Shiv Sena, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra. The leadership of the party has been on shaky ground ever since, and action against Raut comes as a major blow.
While yesterday he tweeted, “I swear by the late Balasabheb Thackeray that I have nothing to do with any scam. I will die but won’t leave the Shiv Sena.”
Later on in his tweet, he said he would continue to fight against the Centre’s actions and that he will not give up. “You can’t beat that person, who never gives up! Won’t bow down! Jai Maharashtra.”
The investigation against Raut was launched in connection with the re-development of Mumbai’s Patra Chawl. In April, the ED said that Raut and his family had immovable properties worth Rs 11.15 crore, which include a flat at Dadar, held by Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha. The case also extends to eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag that are held jointly by Raut’s wife and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of the Rauts.