Juhu hotel ‘vandalised’, three, including Nitesh Rane, booked for extortion

Hotel owner claims he was asked to pay Rs 10 lakh

| Mumbai | Published: May 20, 2017 3:13:36 am
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Three persons, including Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, were booked by the Mumbai Police on several charges including extortion after they allegedly created a “ruckus” at an upmarket Juhu restaurant on Thursday evening, police said.

Confirming the development, DCP Rashmi Karandikar, spokesperson, Mumbai Police, said that Rane had been booked as per the complainant’s claim, but had not been arrested. According to the police, the incident took place inside a sea-facing restaurant called Estela. Two persons allegedly forcibly entered the restaurant and began to create a “ruckus” around 10.30 pm.

A statement issued by the Mumbai Police read: “After entering restaurant, both of them started shouting and used abusive language, ransacked, whilst forcibly trying to shutdown the restaurant . Based on the statement given complainant Hitesh Keshwani, Santacruz police station has registered a case against three persons and two persons has been arrested.”

The three were booked under several charges including extortion, trespassing, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code. According to police officers privy to the investigation, Keshwani, who is the owner of Estela, told officers he had “received” a call demanding Rs 10 lakh.

“He refused to pay the amount and approached the police station claiming that he had been harassed for nearly a year by the accused,” said a police officer. The arrested duo was presented before a magistrate court Friday and were remanded in police custody till May 22.

“We need to understand what has happened before commenting on the situation,” said Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesman Sachin Sawant.

Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam said, “I do not know of the incident but if any crime has happened, then the law will take its course.”

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