Nitesh Rane, son of state industries minister Narayan Rane seems to be stumbling from one controversy into another. Less than 48 hours after he stirred a hornet’s nest with his tweets against the Gujarati community, the chief metropolitan magistrate of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court (Esplanade Court), has ordered the central investigating agency to re-open a case against him, where he was charged with shooting at one of his supporters and injuring him. Rejecting an earlier closure report filed by the CBI on Saturday, the magistrate ordered the case to be re-opened.
In March 2010, the CBI had filed a closure report in the magistrate court, giving a clean chit to Rane Jr in the case related to the assault on Chintu Shaikh. The CBI had declared that there were no eyewitnesses during the alleged shootout. Shaikh had challenged the closure report through his lawyer Santosh Yadav. “The CBI officials were in such a hurry that they submitted the closure report without proper inquiry. Even a state minister and a leading builder were not interrogated in the matter. On Saturday, the court accepted our request and ordered CBI to continue further inquiry,” said Yadav.
On September 23, 2010, Chintu Shaikh, state president of organisation Swabhiman Vahatuk Sangh had gone to the Sangh’s office at Khar. According to Shaikh, he had gone with a box of sweets, as it was his son’s birthday. He distributed sweets in his office and touched the feet of Nitesh who was present there. Suddenly, Rane Jr started abusing and assaulting him. Seeing this, the other staff members also assaulted him. Rane Jr allegedly fired two rounds at him. One of the bullets allegedly brushed his cheek. He managed to run away and got himself admitted to Hiranandani Hospital in Powai. The Khar police had then registered an attempt to murder FIR against Rane Jr and others.
Later, Shaikh had filed a petition in the High Court demanding a CBI probe. On March 24, 2011, the High Court transferred the matter from Crime Branch to the CBI. Giving a clean chit to Rane Jr, CBI had submitted a closure report in the matter. Expressing his relief at the court’s order to re-open the enquiry, Shaikh said, “I cannot explain how happy I am with the court order.” Despite repeated calls and messages, CBI officer FB Karna who had investigated the case remained unavailable for comment.