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Hanuman Chalisa row: MP Navneet Rana, her MLA husband sent to separate jails

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Mumbai: According to a Mumbai Police officer, independent MP Navneet Rana has been sent to the Byculla women’s jail in Mumbai, while her MLA husband Ravi Rana has been transferred to Taloja jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai amid tight security.

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The pair was detained on Saturday after calling for Hanuman Chalisa singing outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private mansion ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai, which sparked heated Shiv Sainik demonstrations.

The political couple was then charged with sedition by the Mumbai Police. A Mumbai court placed the Rana couple in judicial custody for 14 days on Sunday.

As a result, Navneet Rana, a Maharashtra MP, was arrested late Sunday night and transported to the Byculla women’s jail.

Ravi Rana, the MLA from Badnera in Amravati, was escorted to the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, but due to a shortage of room there, he was transferred to the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai once the legal requirements were completed, according to the official.

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Earlier, a case was filed against Ranas under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) and 34 (common intention), as well as the Bombay Police Act’s Sections 37(1) and 135 (promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language).

Later, they were charged with IPC Section 124-A (sedition) by the police.

The offence of sedition is committed under IPC Section 124-A when a person, via words or otherwise, incites or seeks to incite hate or contempt for the government established by law, or excites or attempts to arouse disaffection towards the government established by law.

According to the official, the police had also filed another FIR against Ranas for allegedly hindering police officers from completing their duties and resisting arrest at their home in suburban Khar.

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil had on Sunday termed “appropriate” the arrest of the Rana couple.

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On Sunday, police detained 13 Shiv Sena workers for reportedly demonstrating outside Ranas’ Khar mansion on Saturday. According to authorities, the party employees were eventually released on bond.

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