Patra Chawl scam: Sanjay Raut sent to 4-day ED custody
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut was sent to four-day Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody on Monday. Raut was arrested by the ED late on Sunday night after hours of questioning in a land scam case. He was taken detained in the evening and finally arrested after six hours of questioning. He alleged that the arrest was an attempt to weaken Sena's Uddhav Thackeray camp.
Why does this story matter?
Raut's arrest came after the ED issued multiple summonses. The ED crackdown on Raut—a Sena troubleshooter—is being seen by many as a political vendetta and conspiracy by the BJP. The development comes a month after Maharashtra's Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government was toppled and rebel leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the CM with the support of rebel Sena MLAs and the BJP.
Raut arrested in Patra Chawl Land Scam Case
The 60-year-old politician's arrest was officiated at 12.30 am on Sunday night. The ED team arrived at his home at 7 am the same day and searched his house to investigate the Patra Chawl Land Scam case. Raut was taken into ED custody at 5 in the evening and finally arrested after 6 hours of questioning.
Probe agency seized cash from envelopes
The ED produced Raut in the court at 11.30 am on Monday. The probe agency reportedly seized Rs. 11.5 lakh, of which Rs. 10 lakh were kept in a separate envelope with 'Eknath Shinde' scribbled on top. The money was kept aside for his recent visit to Ayodhya with Aditya Thackeray, News18 reported.
'Attempt to weaken Shiv Sena'
Speaking moments before being detained, Raut said, "This attempt to weaken Shiv Sena will not succeed" and added that he will not bow down, "Jhukega nahi." Raut is a loyalist of the former CM Thackeray and has spoken up against the 'misuse' of ED against opposition leaders. He is the third MVA leader to be taken by ED after Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh.
Watch: Sanjay Raut taken into ED custody
What is Patra Chawl money laundering case?
The ED summons is linked to Mumbai's Patra Chawl redevelopment scam case. To recall, in April this year, the ED had attached immovable properties worth Rs. 11.15 crore, including a Dadar flat owned by Raut's wife Varsha, and eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag, jointly owned by Varsha and Swapna Patkar. Swapna is the wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Raut.
Property of close aide attached
Previously, the ED had also attached property worth Rs. 9 crore related to Raut's close aide Pravin Raut. A charge sheet was also filed against Pravin. The ED investigation also revealed that around Rs. 100 crore was transferred from real estate company HDIL to Pravin's account. He then allegedly diverted some funds to different accounts of his family members, businesses, and close associates.