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HomeTop NewsEnforcement Directorate has been harassing me and my family, says Sanjay Raut

Enforcement Directorate has been harassing me and my family, says Sanjay Raut

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sanjay raut, raut, sanjay, ed, enforcement directorate, ed raid, kirit somaiya, kirit, bjp, venkaiah naidu

Quoting the letter with a popular poem by German pastor Martin Niemoller “who did not speak out against the Nazi Rule at the right time and wrote this confessional poem as a token of his regret” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu alleging that the Enforcement Directorate has been harassing him and his family after he refused to help in toppling the Maharashtra government. He said that the ED and other investigating agency officials “are now reduced to puppets of their political masters” and added that the officials have even admitted that they have been “asked by their ‘bosses’ to ‘fix’ me.”

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut wrote “I perceive these attempts by the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies as a direct attack on my right to speak freely in the House and outside the House. I perceive it to be an attack on our democracy. I perceive the recent attacks on people known and unknown to me to have been occasioned due to my refusal to partake in conspiring to topple the State Government in Maharashtra.”

A businessman Sujit Patker, whose premises was raided by the ED told Afternoon Voice, “I am nowhere a partner with Sanjay Raut’s daughters. I really don’t know why my name is dragged in this entire issue. I have sent a defamation notice to BJP leader Kirit Somaiya. I have no connection with Patra Chawl or HDIL deal. I have given a loan to their family on the insistence of my estranged wife and the land is registered in her name. That is what I have already mentioned in my divorce petition. I have sent the notice to the Alibaug property landowners also. Lifeline is a company of Dr Hemat Gupta; he is the major shareholder and other partners are Sanjay Shah and Rajiv Salunkhe. All these four are involved so why am I being targeted. My role was about forming SOP and managing processes.”

Madhav Bhandari, the chief spokesperson of  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, “He is prone to melodramatic performance and he knows only that. He thinks that playing in the gallery will help him. But that is not going to happen. His lecture to the Deputy Chairperson Rajya Sabha is absolutely chest-beating nothing else. He has to answer the ED. The judicial process is lengthy but one can’t escape. Maha Vikas Aghadi’s Anil Deshmukh is already arrested. Our legal system has many loopholes that help the culprit. BJP has nothing to do with it. They (Raut) have every opportunity to prove their innocence by using these loopholes to their advantage. Secondly, he said that their party has a strong coercive presence in Mumbai. What does his party presence have to do with ED inquiry? He should follow the law. Instead of writing to Rajya Sabha he should walk into ED and face it.”

BJP MLA Ram Kadam told Afternoon Voice, “Raut is exposed by ED. Praveen Raut and Sanjay Raut’s family have a financial misdemeanour and that financial transgression is completely exposed. Whether it is ED or Income Tax, they do not take immediate action. There has to be some paperwork and it takes time to reach the culprit. They gather all the information from Bank Accounts then they take action. ED is doing its duty but these influential people approach the court and get bail. It is their fundamental right, but it does not mean that they are clean.”

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “Ever since Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP in the state of Maharashtra, we find Shiv Sena MPs/ leaders being systematically targeted by using law enforcing agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate being let loose against us and in the process. Enforcement Directorate Personnel is leaving no stone unturned to intimidate/harass our legislators, MPs, political leaders as well as their relatives, friends, and acquaintances.”

Ramdas Kadam from Shiv Sena said, “Sanjay Raut is working on Goa, Uttar Pradesh elections as a representative of Maharashtra State and as a leader of the Party. Today I am not in the Cabinet. But when I was, I never knew this ED. Kirit Somaiya is hardly in my daily routine. Right from the inception of ShivSena we never ever saw IT Dept. BJP is planning to run its own black fund targeting intellectuals like Raut. Today Shiv Sena has marked its presence in all states. That’s becoming a headache for the BJP. When Raut has decided to take responsibility for the party, the BJP is trapping him in these cheap games. When UPA was in power they called CBI a Congress Bureau of Investigation; should we say that the ED has become an agency of BJP politics?”

Preeti Sharma Menon, AAP National Executive said, “The Shiv Sena should learn from the Aam Aadmi Party and welcome scrutiny. It must walk the talk if it has nothing to hide, like us and emerge unscathed. Or maybe the Shiv Sena does have skeletons nay, an entire graveyard in its closet, for such has its association with the BJP, whom it divorced only recently. Our legislators and party cadre in Delhi were subjected to the worst kind of vindictively targeted harassment for any elected state government in Independent India. Delhi Police, ED, CBI and even the ECI were used to frame our MLAs and senior leadership. Despite all this, we never wavered and continued on our part without fear and most importantly, without giving in to coercion.”

Former enforcement directorate officer who recently retired from his services said that “The ED never goes and barges into someone’s house on the verbal information and instruction of someone. Instructions are given to ED that cannot be dined, but for that ED needs to show some fruitful case, the authorities can only dictate them to tighten the snooze. Pravin Raut’s case was under ED Scanner for several years. This was somewhere left identified during the alliance government of Sena and BJP when ED came to know that there is substantial evidence to scan the issue. Then the Central Government might have told them to take action. Or, do rigorous investigations. Unless basic substance, no raids can take place. Most of the time during raids the threads are established. In Praveen Raut’s case, Sanjay Raut’s allegations have half-truth or half incorrect information.”

The Veteran leader of Shiv Sena under the condition of anonymity said that “Since the time Shiv Sena came into existence. You will never find such charges against our leaders. We never heard the name ED and IT.  Since Modi came in power at the centre these agencies have become tools in their hand to harass an opponent.  Since Maha Vikas Aghadi came to power in the state, these ED raids are rampant. Give me one incident or historical evidence when Shiv Sena leaders were prosecuted by ED under any scam or corruption?  This is a worrisome trend.”

Sanjay Raut claimed that 28 people have so far been picked up and “wrongfully confined” by the probe agencies and have been threatened with dire consequences if they don’t give statements against him.

Sanjay Raut asserted, adding that he was threatened with imprisonment if he refused to help in forcing a midterm election in the state. “About a month ago, I was approached by certain people and was told to assist them in toppling the state government in Maharashtra. They wanted me to be instrumental in such an endeavour so that the state could be forced into a midterm election. I refused to be a party to any such clandestine agenda which was being pursued, upon which I was warned that my refusal could lead to my paying a very heavy price. I was even told that my fate could be like that of a former union railway minister who spent many years behind bars. I was even warned that apart from me, two other senior ministers in the cabinet of the state of Maharashtra as well as two senior leaders in Maharashtra would also be sent behind the bars under the PMLA Act which would lead to midterm elections in the state of Maharashtra with all important leaders in the state being behind bars,” he said.

The Shiv Sena MP said that his family owns some land, barely 1 acre, at Alibaug which was purchased about 17 years ago but those who sold the land, along with their family members, are being threatened by the ED and other agencies to give statements against him saying that they received some cash from him over and above the agreement value.

“This is also happening to other people who had sold a similarly small piece of land to me and my family in 2012-2013. Day after day, ED and other agencies personnel call these people and threaten them with jail and attachment of their personal properties unless they give their statements against me. All these properties are in the public domain and have been filed in all my affidavits filed along with my nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha. For all these years, there was no question asked of me. However, suddenly now everything has become a matter of ‘concern’ for the ED and other agencies. ED and other agencies have no business to “investigate” in respect of property/properties acquired nearly two decades ago,” Raut said.

Pointing to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act that was enacted in 2003, he alleged that the ED and other central agencies are threatening and harassing BJP’s political rivals by using the Act retrospectively with ulterior motive “in the garb of investigation” for decades-old transactions “that have nothing to do with any money laundering” even when the Act can only be applied to transactions after 2003. He claims that the probe agencies are summoning, intimidating and threatening the decorators and other vendors of the wedding event of his daughter last year to extract a statement that they received Rs 50 lakhs in cash.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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