Narayan Rane’s slap row: How events unfolded

NEW DELHI: High drama unfolded in Maharashtra on Tuesday after the police arrested Union minister and BJP leader Narayan Rane over his controversial remarks against chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. The arrest follows violent clashes between some members of Shiv Sena and BJP.
Here’s how the events unfolded
Rane’s ‘slap’ remark against Uddhav
The Union minister sparked off a row on Monday over his remarks about slapping chief minister and Uddhav Thackeray for what he claimed as the Shiv Sena chief’s ignorance of the year of India’s independence.
“It is shameful that the chief minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap, Rane said during his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ in Raigad.
The BJP leader and former Shiv Sena chief minister claimed Thackeray forgot the year of independence during his August 15 address to the people of the state. Thackeray had to check the year of independence with his aides midway during the speech that day, Rane said.
Row erupts
Following Rane’s remarks, a complaint was lodged against him by Nashik city Shiv Sena unit chief at the Cyber police station there.
Based on the complaint, an FIR was registered against Rane in Nashik under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 505(2) (mischief), 153-B (1)(c) (remarks likely to cause disharmony, or feeling of enmity or hatred or ill-will), a police official said.
The controversy boiled over on Tuesday when more FIRs followed, lodged in different parts of Maharashtra.
Sena-BJP clashes
The remarks triggered a massive backlash in Maharashtra with angry Shiv Sena activists clashing with BJP workers near Rane’s residence in Mumbai.
Stones were pelted from both the sides, following which police used cane-charge to disperse the agitators, a police official said.
The Shiv Sena workers sat on the Juhu Tara Road in Santacruz (West) near Rane’s residence, and activists from both the sides shouted slogans against each other, the official said.
BJP workers had gathered outside Rane’s residence in the morning in support of their party leader, while Shiv Sena activists, including women, carrying placards and shouting slogans against Rane, had assembled outside an office of the Yuva Sena (the party’s youth wing), located nearby in Juhu.
According to police, Shiv Sena and BJP supporters also clashed at Chiplun in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district.
No court relief
Facing imminent arrest, Rane approached a sessions court in Ratnagiri seeking pre-arrest bail.
The sessions court, however, refused to grant any relief, noting that the case was registered in Nashik and hence, it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the application.
He also approached the Bombay high court against the FIRs registered against him in parts of Maharashtra and sought protection from arrest.
The petition was mentioned before a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar, seeking urgent hearing on Tuesday itself.
The bench, however, refused to hear it and said mentioning (of the petition) was not allowed and asked the lawyer to follow the procedure.
Rane arrested
Shortly after the high court refused to entertain an urgent hearing, a team of Ratnagiri police officials took Rane into custody.
“Local SP has come to arrest him. We have asked for the arrest warrant. We told him that Rane is a union minister and permission from the Centre is required to arrest him. The SP claimed that he is under immense pressure and has been ordered to arrest Rane within five minutes, but the police have no papers to arrest him,” BJP leader Pramod Jathar told reporters following the arrest.
(With inputs from agencies)

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