The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday detained Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in Patra Chawl land scam case in Mumbai after hours of conducting raids at his residence.
The action follows two summonses issued by the ED against Raut, the latest being on July 27.
Raut was summoned for questioning by the ED in a money laundering case linked to the alleged irregularities in the re-development of a Mumbai ‘chawl’ and related transactions involving his wife and ‘associates’. He had appeared before the agency in Mumbai to record his statement on July 1 in connection with the case. After that, the ED had summoned him twice, but he skipped the summonses citing his engagement with the ongoing Parliament session. At 7 am on Sunday, ED officials, accompanied by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, reached Raut’s ‘Maitri’ bungalow located in suburban Bhandup, and began the search.
The Rajya Sabha member, who is in the Uddhav Thackeray camp of the Shiv Sena, had denied any wrongdoing and alleged that he was being targeted due to political vendetta.
”I swear by late Balasabheb Thackeray that I have nothing to do with any scam,” Raut tweeted shortly after the ED action began. ”I will die but won’t leave Shiv Sena,” Raut added.
During the ED search, a large number of Shiv Sena supporters gathered outside Raut’s residence and staged protests against the agency’s action. Holding safron flags and banners in their hands, the Sena MP’s supporters also raised slogans against the ED. Raut waved at his supporters from the window of his house.
At the ED office located in Ballard Estate area of south Mumbai, a large number of police have been deployed, an official said. Roads leading to the agency office have been kept shut for vehicles and barricades have been placed, he said.