Fifteen months after a fashion designer accused parliamentarian Dr Nilesh Rane of road rage, the state industries minister’s son was involved in a war of words with a traffic volunteer after his convoy blocked a narrow road.
The MP from Sindhudurg was dropping his daughter to school when the incident occurred at 20th Road, Khar on January 18. The traffic warden reprimanded Nilesh after his fleet of cars blocked the narrow road, and after a verbal duel, a police jeep arrived at the scene and took the traffic warden to the police station.
Bandra resident Anita Lobo, who has been controlling traffic in the Bandra-Khar area for over five years, noticed Nilesh’s convoy, which was accompanied by two jeeps filled with safari-suit clad security staff. His car stopped and his security vehicle pulled up alongside. Lobo noticed that the parked vehicles were blocking the traffic and hindering movement of other motorists.
“When the main vehicle in the convoy stopped, the security personnel got down and surrounded the vehicle. I walked up to the vehicles and requested them to move along, as they were blocking traffic. But the men there were five or six of them in safari suits along with one police constable — began arguing with me, and asked me who I was,” said Lobo.
Dr Rane then clambered out of his car and started arguing with her. “He asked me, ‘Do you know who I am?’ and I replied that I knew he was a politician’s son. He responded, ‘I am a people’s leader, don’t drag my father’s name into this.’ I couldn’t care less who he was, I treat everyone the same way,” Lobo said. She dared him to dial the police emergency number and after a heated exchange, Dr Rane left, taking his convoy with him. He headed to the Khar police station and complained against the warden.
Minutes later, a police jeep arrived at the scene and escorted her to Khar police station. She narrated the entire incident to police, who wrote everything down and made her sign it. This in contrary to the provisions of section 161 of the CrPC, under which statements before police cannot be signed by the person making them.
“I was kept at the police station between 11.30 am to 2.30 pm. I kept telling them I was on duty and requested them to let me go,” said Lobo. Once she got in touch with her sister, Lobo was released. Senior Inspector Mangesh Pote of Khar police station confirmed the incident and said, “Rane was accompanied by his security personnel and was passing through the area when he was stopped by Lobo and there was an altercation between them. No case has been registered.”
The other side
Speaking to MiD DAY, Dr Rane said, “I had gone to drop my child at the Little Bo Beep nursery. The school has a rule that you can’t take your vehicle into the compound, so I parked at the kerb. When I returned after dropping my child, this woman, who already appeared to be in a bad mood, was directing traffic. She started arguing with me for blocking traffic.
She told me, ‘I know everything about you; you’re a ‘bade baap ka aulaad’ and said I had a criminal background. This upset me so I got out of the car and demanded she produce her identity card.” Rane added, “When she refused to produce her ID, I went to the Khar police station and complained about her. If she had no authorisation, she had no right to misbehave with me. I later inquired with other parents from the school, who told me she was a regular problem.”