Politics News

Hanuman Chalisa Row: Navneet Rana Writes to Delhi Police Seeking Action Against Sanjay Raut for ‘Casteist’ Slur

Amravati MP Navneet Rana, who has been hogging headlines since she and her MLA husband Ravi Rana were arrested for trying to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence, on Wednesday shot off a letter to the Delhi Police, seeking action against Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut.

Navneet Rana, who hails from the Chambhar community, sought action against Raut for casteist remarks and accused the leader of provoking Shiv Sainiks to ‘gherao’ her house. In her letter, she said Raut had, on multiple occasions, referred to the couple as ‘Bunty-Babli’ and ‘420’.

The development comes a day after Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey shared a video of the Amravati MP and her husband having tea at the Khar Police Station as he dismissed allegations levelled by the couple of ill-treatment in custody. Tweeting the video, the top cop said in the caption: “Do we say anything more?”

On Sunday, Navneet Rana wrote a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, saying her arrest was illegal and alleging “inhuman treatment” in police custody. In the letter, she demanded strict action against Pandey and alleged that the action against her and Ravi Rana was taken on the directions of the Maharashtra chief minister.

Navneet and Ravi Rana were arrested on Saturday after they gave a call for the chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa outside Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai, which had triggered angry protests by Shiv Sainiks. The couple, now in jail, later withdrew their call, citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city for an event.

The parliamentarian, in the letter, spoke about being put up in a lock-up without due regards to the office held by her and not getting drinking water while in police custody. Navneet Rana alleged she was abused on the basis of her caste. She has sought action against top Mumbai police officers over her arrest.

“I emphatically state that I have reason to believe that the police action against me and my husband is only on the directions of the Chief Minister Shri Uddhav Thackeray. Under the circumstances, I am forwarding this representation to you as the guardian and custodian of the dignity of the Lok Sabha and its members to kindly look into the matter,” she has written.

However, a day after the Mumbai Police Commissioner shared the video footage, the MP “clarified” that the “ill-treatment” happened in the lock-up of Santa Cruz police station and not at Khar police station. Following this, Mumbai Police is expected to issue a CCTV footage from Santa Cruz Police Station.

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