The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday detained Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case in Mumbai, hours after the probing agency raided Raut’s Bhandup residence. Raut was detained as he was not cooperating with ED, and will be taken to the zonal office for further questioning, according to reports. The ED officials are investigating alleged financial irregularities arising out of the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl in Goregaon.
Soon after the ED began searching his house, Raut took to Twitter and wrote that he will never surrender or quit Shiv Sena. “False action, false evidence. I will die, but will not surrender. I will never leave Shiv Sena. I swear by Balasaheb Thackeray that I am not involved in any scam. He taught us to fight and I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena,” Raut said.
The ED is also questioning Raut on his links with jailed businessman Pravin Raut, who is also a key accused in the alleged land scam. Whether Raut will be arrested is yet to be determined, according to reports. Pravin Raut was the director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL) which had got the contract to develop the 47 acres of chawl area, owned by the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA).
The development comes after Raut failed to depose before the ED even after repeated summonses, the latest being on July 27. Earlier, Raut was asked to appear before the probing agency on July 20. However, his lawyers informed that he couldn’t turn up due to the ongoing Monson session of the Parliament, and could only depose before the ED after August 7.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had told his party workers at ‘Matoshree’ that the ED might arrest Raut, and called it a ‘conspiracy’ to finish off the party. “ED guests are at Sanjay Raut’s house. He may get arrested. What conspiracy is this? Shiv Sena gives strength to Hindus and Marathi people and hence there is a conspiracy to finish off the party,” he said.