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Hanuman Chalisa row: Rana couple to stay in jail as Mumbai court defers bail plea hearing till tomorrow

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Mumbai: In the latest development in the Matoshree-Hanuman Chalisa row, Arrested MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband will stay in jail as a Mumbai Sessions court on Thursday deferred the hearing on their bail pleas till tomorrow. The hearing was deferred after the Rana couple’s lawyer Ponda sought time till tomorrow.

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The duo was arrested on April 23 following their public declaration of reciting the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Bandra.

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Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, however, opposed the date saying that he cannot come to the court tomorrow due to another case in the Alibag town of Raigad district.

Advocate Abad Ponda appeared for MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana before the sessions court for their bail plea. The court asked the public prosecutor to go ahead with the arguments on Saturday. The argument is slated to take place at 3 pm on Saturday.

In their bail plea application, the Ranas questioned why sedition charges were slapped against them. The government, however, said that the couple tried to create a law and order situation outside the residence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Matoshree Hanuman Chalisa row: Backdrop
“The court will fix the date for the bail hearing of MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana today. Police had strongly objected to their bail,” Pradeep Gharat, Public Prosecutor said, sources quoted. A massive controversy broke out when the Ranas called for chanting Hanuman Chalisa outside the residence of Uddhav Thackeray.

In the protests that broke out, police arrested several Shiv Sena workers, who were released on bail later. Ranas have been booked under sedition charges for trying to disrupt communal harmony in the state. Shiv Sena alleged that the Ranas were acting at the behest of the BJP. The latter hit back, questioning the former ally over its differential treatment to Azaans played on loudspeakers and calls for Hanuman Chalisa, thus invoking the Hindutva debate.

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