New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union minister Narayan Rane was arrested on Tuesday over his controversial remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, which triggered a political row and protests. Rane had said that he would have slapped Thackeray over the latter's ignorance of the year of India's independence.

Rane was taken into custody by police in the coastal Ratnagiri district, where he is travelling as part of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, and taken to the Sangameshwar police station, an official said.

A complaint was lodged by Nashik city Shiv Sena unit chief at the cyber police station there, after which an FIR was registered against Rane under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 505(2) (mischief), 153-B (1)(c) (remarks likely to cause disharmony, or feeling of enmity or hatred or ill-will), a police official said. There were reports that while the process to arrest him was on, Rane complained of high blood pressure and sugar levels and a doctor was called to examine him.

Meanwhile, Narayan Rane also approached the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, challenging the FIRs lodged against him over his remarks. Rane's petition, filed through advocate Aniket Nikam, sought the FIRs to be quashed. The BJP leader also sought an interim order granting him protection from arrest or any coercive action. 

The petition was mentioned before a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar, seeking an urgent hearing on Tuesday itself. The bench, however, refused to hear it and said mentioning (of the petition) was not allowed and asked the lawyer to follow the procedure. "File an application before the Registry department seeking urgent hearing and then we will consider," the court said.

Sena-BJP activists clash near Narayan Rane's residence:

Activists of the Shiv Sena's youth wing and the BJP clashed with each other near Union minister Narayan Rane's residence in Mumbai on Tuesday in the wake of his comments against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, police said. Stones were pelted from both sides, following which police used cane-charge to disperse the agitators, an official said.

The Shiv Sena workers sat on the Juhu Tara Road in Santacruz (West) near Rane's residence, and activists from both the sides shouted slogans against each other, the official said. Following the incident, the road was blocked from two sides, disrupting traffic in the area. An additional police force was deployed in the area, the official said.

The clash took place during a protest organised by activists of the Yuva Sena (the Shiv Sena's youth wing) against Union minister Rane, he added. BJP workers had gathered outside Rane's residence in the morning in support of their party leader, while Shiv Sena activists, including women, carrying placards and shouting slogans against Rane, had assembled outside an office of the Yuva Sena (the party's youth wing), located nearby in Juhu.

Heavy police security was deployed outside Rane's residence, the official said. According to police, Shiv Sena and BJP supporters also clashed at Chiplun in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district. Besides, stones were hurled at the BJP's office in Nashik city, while Shiv Sena workers held agitations in Nagpur, officials said.

Rane defends himself, says 'haven't committed a crime':

Talking about the FIR registered against him, Rane said that he does not know about any FIR registered against him and Maharashtra CM might have done it out of jealousy as his Jan Ashirwad Yatra is getting a good response from the people.

“I haven't committed any crime. You should verify and show it on TV or else I will file a case against you (media). Despite not committing any crime, the media is showing speculative news about my 'imminent' arrest. “Do you think I am a normal (ordinary) man

Asked about cases filed by Shiv Sena workers against him over his remarks, Rane shot back, “Shiv Sena who?”. Rane has sparked off a row over his remarks about slapping Thackeray for what he claimed as the latter's ignorance of the year of India's independence.

"It is shameful that the chief minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap,” Rane, as quoted by PTI said, during his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Raigad district on Monday.


(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan