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HC seeks report on probe into Ranes’ anti-Gujarati statements

The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to file a status report on the probe into allegedly derogatory comments made by former Maharashtra minister Narayan Rane and his son Nitesh against the Gujarati community.

The direction was given by a bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohata on a public interest litigation.

The bench also issued notices to Rane, a senior Congress leader, and his son while asking the government to file affidavit within two weeks on the probe status.

Government pleader Hiten Venegaonkar said the case in this regard was recently transferred from suburban Khar police station to special CID unit, Belapur. However, he did not give the reason for this.

Nitesh Rane had, on this Twitter account, taken exception to the Gujarati community in Mumbai rooting for Narendra Modi and said the community should move back to Gujarat if it admired Modi — then the Gujarat Chief Minister — so much.

As it started a controversy, Narayan Rane, then state industries minister, clarified that Nitesh was only talking about those Gujaratis who admired Gujarat more than Maharashtra.

Petitioner Bhagwanji Rayani demands that Rane father-son duo should be prosecuted under section 153-A of Indian Penal Code for ‘promoting enmity between different groups’.

A complaint was lodged against them at the Khar police station, but police took no action because of Ranes’ political clout, the PIL says, demanding a probe by CBI or any other independent agency.

It would come up for hearing after two weeks.

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