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Allegations against NCP Minister: BJP leader Kirit Somaiya detained at railway station in Satara

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya arrives at Enforcement Directorate office with evidence for his allegation against Maharashtra Minister Hasan Mushrif of a scam of Rs. 127 crores, in Mumbai, Tuesday, September 14, 2021.  

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya was detained at Karad railway station in western Maharashtra’s Satara district early on Monday after the Kolhapur district administration had issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC against the former BJP MP.

A video clip later surfaced showing the BJP leader being escorted out of the station by police officers and security personnel.

“Police stopped me at Karad under prohibitory order,” he tweeted, adding that he would address reporters at the Karad Circuit House to expose one more scam of senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif.

Last Monday, Mr. Somaiya had accused Mr. Mushrif and his relatives of being involved in a ₹127-crore money laundering scam.

He was scheduled to visit the properties owned by Mr. Mushrif in Kolhapur in this regard on Monday.

On Sunday, Mr. Somaiya had alleged that he was being detained at his own residence in Mumbai and had launched a broadside against the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

“Who in the Thackeray government has given these orders restricting me from going out of Mumbai?” said Mr. Somaiya, who had already set off for Kolhapur on Sunday from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the Mahalaxmi Express.

Before leaving he had tweeted: “Thackeray Sarkar Dadagiri; Notice is for Kolhapur District NO ENTRY, but not allowing me to move out from my house...Mulund Police wants to arrest me, but no warrant, no order...it's total illegal.”

On Saturday evening, Kolhapur District Collector Rahul Rekhawar issued a restraining order under Section 144 (1) (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 for September 20 and 21 prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons in public places in the district.

Mr. Rekhawar said that the move was to preclude a law-and-order situation that could arise in the view of Mr. Somaiya’s anticipated visit.

Supporters’ threat

“Former MP Dr. Kirit Somaiya has accused Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif of corruption. The repercussions of this accusation have been felt in Kolhapur district with [Mr. Mushrif’s] supporters publicly protesting Mr. Somaiya’s allegations.... they have threatened the BJP leader with dire consequences in the event he dared to visit the district,” said a senior district administration official, explaining the reason for the imposition of the prohibitory orders.

Officials further said that Mr. Mushrif, too, was expected to arrive at his bastion in the district’s Kagal constituency on Monday.

“A large crowd of between 15,000-20,000 of Mr. Mushrif’s supporters was expected to be present. The crowd was expected to use tractors, trolleys, dumpers, JCBs as barriers to block Mr. Somaiya from inspecting Mr. Mushrif’s properties in Kagal. Therefore, to maintain public order in the district, we have imposed restraining orders beginning 5 p.m. from today and extending till midnight of the 21st,” said the official.

The order states that any person or organisation who does not comply with the directive will be prosecuted under Sections 188, 269, 270 and 271 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45).

Minutes after Mr. Somaiya's allegations last week, Mr. Mushrif, an influential leader from Kolhapur, said he would file a ₹100 crore defamation suit against the BJP leader at the Kolhapur district court within the next fortnight.

Baseless allegations, says Minister

Dismissing Mr. Somaiya’s allegations as “utterly baseless” and “without any shred of evidence”, Mr. Mushrif claimed that the BJP leader was “woefully uninformed and was uttering ill-informed allegations at the behest of BJP State president Chandrakant Patil”.

Mr. Somaiya, who has been targeting senior leaders in the MVA government with alleged scam exposes, said he had already filed a complaint and submitted documents with the Income Tax authorities in Mumbai and was in the process of giving documents to the Enforcement Directorate.

Also read: Raids: ED working on directions of BJP, say MVA leaders

Remarking that he had had an unblemished reputation throughout his political career, the NCP leader said that the BJP was playing these ‘low political games’ as they had no standing in Kolhapur.

In July 2019, a team of the Income Tax Department had raided Mr. Mushrif’s residence and factory premises in Kolhapur.

At the time, it was widely believed that the raid on Mr. Mushrif’s home was owing to the NCP leader’s alleged ‘refusal’ to join the then Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 9:45:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/allegations-against-ncp-minister-bjp-leader-kirit-somaiya-detained-at-railway-station-in-satara/article36560965.ece

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