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Days after he told cops to arrest Narayan Rane, minister gets ED summons

Parab said there was no clarity as to why the ED had summoned him because the ED notice only mentions the summons to him “as part of an investigation” without mentioning a specific case.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai |
Updated: August 30, 2021 9:56:31 am
Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab (File Photo)

Days after Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab was caught on camera directing the police to arrest Union minister Narayan Rane, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent him a notice asking him to appear before it on Tuesday, August 31.

Parab said there was no clarity as to why the ED had summoned him because the ED notice only mentions the summons to him “as part of an investigation” without mentioning a specific case.

“As expected, Anil Parab has been served a notice by the ED as soon as the Jan Ashirwad Yatra concluded. The central government has started its work. The epicentre of the earthquake was Ratnagiri (referring to Rane’s arrest) and Parab is the Guardian Minister of that district. Please understand the chronology. This is a legal battle which we will fight legally,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut tweeted.

Parab said it was unclear in which connection he had been summoned by the ED. “This evening I received the ED notice, but there is no mention of any case in it. The only thing it says is to appear before ED at 11 am on August 31. So, I can’t say in which connection the notice has been served, but it says ‘as part of an investigation’. We had anticipated something like this. Now, we will examine it legally and respond to it,” said Parab, speaking with mediapersons on Sunday evening.

When asked whether the Centre acted in a vindictive manner, Parab said, “I will not comment on it now. I will respond legally after studying the issue.”

To a query whether he will appear before the ED, Parab said, “I will examine it legally and then take a decision.”

Parab, known to be close to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, was caught on camera last week issuing directions to arrest Rane. The guardian minister of Ratnagiri was at a press conference on Tuesday, during which he broke off to have two phone conversations. After receiving the first call, he made another call – apparently to a police officer. Rane was arrested by police for his threatening to “slap” Thackeray remarks.

“Hello, what are you people doing? But you need to do it. Have you detained him or not?… What order are they asking for? The High Court and sessions court have rejected his bail (plea)… then use the police force,” Parab was heard saying on the phone. The minister was audible as he was seated before open microphones.

Shiv Sena sources said the party would stand behind the senior leader. The issue of the ED notice was discussed with the party leadership, which is standing by him, and they have decided to fight it out legally, said sources.

“There is huge support and sympathy for Parab in the party and among party cadres. Because the ED notice has come days after Parab was caught on camera directing the police to arrest Rane. So, the party will stand behind Parab in this entire episode,” said a senior Sena leader. Earlier, former Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze, in a letter he tried to submit to the NIA court, had claimed that Parab had asked him to carry out extortion of Rs 50 crore from a private trust.

He also alleged that Parab told him to look into the inquiry against fraudulent contractors listed in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and asked him to collect “at least Rs 2 crore” from about 50 such contractors. Parab has denied all the allegations.

Parab is the second Shiv Sena leader and third Maha Vikas Aghadi leader to have come under the scanner of the ED. Earlier, former Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and Sena legislator and party spokesperson Pratap Sarnaik were summoned by the ED in connection with money laundering cases.

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