Sunil Raut, an MLA from the Shiv Sena UBT, ran into trouble after his friend and a NCP leader were arrested for threatening his brother and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. The conspiracy to increase Raut’s security is thought to have been hatched by NCP activist Mayur Shinde, who has a history of criminal activity, according to the police. Since the BJP-Shinde government has come to power, police security cover for the MP has been reduced. The BJP and MNS have criticized Raut and demanded that the police look into his involvement in the conspiracy in the wake of the arrests.
In the past week, Sharad Pawar, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, and Raut both reported receiving threats on the same day. The complaint claims that Raut received a threat to be shot from an unknown caller if he did not personally answer his calls. The caller further threatened Raut with being “sprayed with bullets” if he did not stop his “morning loudspeakers” (i.e., press conferences) within a month.
According to an investigation, the two people who called the Raut brothers did so while intoxicated. Using technical assistance, Kanjurmarg police were able to link the calls to two individuals: Rizwan Ansari (26), an auto driver, and Shahid Ansari, an interior designer. Along with them, two other suspects were detained: Munna Mohammed Mustaq Shaikh, a Dharavi resident, and Akash Patel, another auto driver. They identified an NCP activist named Mayur Shinde during questioning who allegedly knew Raut’s brother and gave them the order to place these calls.
Shiv Sena UBT Vinayak Raut MP said, “It is not a call or drama; if it had been fake, then there wouldn’t be any complaint registered against threat calls.”
Gopal Shetty, a BJP MP, stated, “They are only trying to gain political mileage as it showcases fake drama by the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ as they are opposed to the current government of the state.”
“It is a complete foul play created by ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ to gain sympathy in front of the people and gain police protection on purpose,” BJP spokesperson Bhalchandra Shirsat said.
The accused should be punished in accordance with the law, regardless of the political party, according to Sachin Sawant, a spokesperson for the Congress, and if someone has broken the law, they will be punished.
A UBT Shiv Sena member told Afternoon Voice, “This can be another conspiracy to attack the Raut brothers. This government has already harassed Sanjay Raut and lambasted the investigating authorities. Suni Raut is a politician, and any Maha Vikas Aghadi leader can be seen with each other in a photograph. By using photo evidence, some people are creating narratives that suit their agenda. But soon the truth will come out.”
An investigating police officer said, “We came to know that NCP’s Mayur Shinde, who has a few criminal cases, allegedly asked auto drivers in his area to issue threats to Raut. We have arrested five people, but the question is whether the threat complaint lodged by Raut is honest,” said an officer. We are probing this matter further and will soon reach a conclusion.”
BJP MLA Nitesh Rane condemned Raut for supposedly using deceitful means to get more police security. “Who is Mayur Shinde? He is a supporter of Sunil Raut (Sanjay Raut’s brother). A complaint under Section 420 should be filed against Sanjay Raut. Sanjay Raut and his brother Sunil Raut are so dubious; they orchestrated threats by their own workers. By telling lies like this, they walk around with police protection,” Rane said.
BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule said “the complaint of a threat was a deliberate attempt to defame the home department and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who handles it. BJP MLC Prasad Lad said Raut must be arrested for misleading the people, government, and police. “The manner in which Mayur Shinde was arrested, the alleged threats to Raut, and Shinde’s links to the underworld all must be investigated, and criminal charges must be filed against Raut,” he said.
Afternoon Voice attempted to reach MLA Sunil Raut for comment on the matter, but he refused to respond to our questions.