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Hanuman Chalisa Row: ‘Officials Used ‘Casteist’ Slur, Denied Drinking Water Inside Jail’, Alleges Arrested MP Navneet Rana

Hanuman Chalisa Row: Amid tight security, Navneet Rana, the MP from Amravati in Maharashtra, was shifted to the Byculla women's jail earlier in the day. She and her husband were arrested on Saturday after they gave a call for reciting Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, triggering protests by Shiv Sainiks.

Published: April 25, 2022 4:17 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

Hanuman Chalisa Row: 'Officials Used 'Casteist' Slur, Denied Drinking Water Inside Jail', Alleges Arrested MP Navneet Rana
(File Photo of Navneet Rana)

Mumbai: Amravati MP Naveneet Rana has written a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla alleging that officers used ‘casteist’ slur against her inside the jail. Earlier on Saturday, Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana were arrested after they gave a call for the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai, which had triggered angry protests by Shiv Sainiks.  Later, the duo were remanded to 14-day judicial custody.

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Earlier in the day, the Mumbai police shifted independent MP Navneet Rana to the Byculla women’s jail, while her MLA husband Ravi Rana was taken to Taloja jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai amid tight security. For the unversed, Ravi Rana was first taken to the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, but due to a lack of adequate space there, he was taken to the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai after completion of the legal formalities.

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‘Denied Basic Rights Inside Jail’ 

  • In a letter addressed to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rana said that she was denied access to drinking water and not allowed to use the washroom on account of her belonging to the Scheduled Caste.
  • “I emphatically state that basic human rights such as drinking water was denied to me on the ground that I belong to Scheduled Caste (Neechi Zaat)”, Amravati MP Navneet Rana said in a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker.
  • “It’s my honest and bona fide belief that Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray completely strayed from its avowed Hindutva principles for obvious reasons since it wanted to betray public mandate&form post-poll alliance with INC-NCP”, her letter read.
  • “To my shock and disbelief, the police staff present told me that I belong to Scheduled Caste & hence they will not give me water in the same glass. Thus, I was directly abused on the basis of my caste and it is only for this reason that no drinking water was provided,” she stated.
  • “Further, when I wanted to use the bathroom at the night, police staff paid no heed to my demands. I was again abused in the most filthy language…I was told that we don’t let people from Neechi Zaat Scheduled Castes use our bathrooms,” the MP claimed.

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

Later, the police also added IPC Section 124-A (sedition) in the case against them.  Under IPC Section 124-A, the offence of sedition is committed when any person by words or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law.

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Published Date: April 25, 2022 4:17 PM IST