ED questions MNS chief Raj Thackeray for close to nine hours
Unmesh Joshi, son of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi and the MNS chief's aide, Rajan Shirodkar, have been questioned by the ED in the case earlier
MNS chief Raj Thackeray was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for eight hours and 45 minutes on Thursday in connection with the mill land probe. Thackeray reached the ED office at Ballard Estate in south Mumbai at 11.40 am, accompanied by his wife Sharmila, son Amit and daughter Urvashi along with MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar. Unmesh Joshi, son of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi and the MNS chief's aide, Rajan Shirodkar, have been questioned by the ED in the case earlier.
His family was seen waiting at the ED office for more than eight hours until the MNS chief came out. Thackeray was questioned regarding exiting the Kohinoor CTNL group in 2008 and making huge profits from it while the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) suffered heavy losses and surrendered it's share. While Thackeray answered some questions, some remained unanswered. The ED has asked him to remain present whenever required for investigation.
The Mumbai Police had deployed a heavy force by imposing section 144 (prohibiting assembly of more than four people in an area) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The state riot control unit too also present near the venue. Thackeray had earlier requested his workers to maintain peace. No incidents of violence or protest were reported from the city. Upon reaching home, Thackeray was welcomed by with his supporters. "Do as many inquiries as you like because such inquiries can't stop me from speaking the truth," he said.
The Mumbai Police had also detained several MNS workers as precautionary detentions and were detained in Dadar for wearing black t-shirts that said 'EDiot Hitler'. The t-shirts also had the Nazi symbol of a "hooked-cross" (a reverse swastika). MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande refused to remove the t-shirt when the police asked him to and was hence detained. The leader was summoned by the ED over suspicion of money-laundering. Kohinoor CTNL was formed by Unmesh Joshi — son of Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi.
In 2005, Joshi formed a consortium with Raj Thackeray and Rajan Shirodkar to purchase Kohinoor Mills Number 3 for Rs 421 crore. The initial plan was to build a mall but it was changed later to a commercial complex and was named Kohinoor Square. The IL&FS group had invested Rs 225 crore in Kohinoor CTNL. Thackeray and Joshi paid the remaining amount of Rs 196 crore. But in 2008, IL&FS suffered huge losses and surrendered its share for Rs 90 crore. Thackeray, however, was accused of making huge profits in the same year by exiting consortium.
Amid a crackdown on his activists, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray left for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) responding to the summons in a case pertaining to the IL&FS, here on Thursday. Accompanied by his family members and top party office-bearers, Thackeray left his residence under a tight police escort to the ED headquarters in Ballard Estate in south Mumbai.
The MNS leader Raj Thackeray reached the ED office around 11.30 am, accompanied by wife Sharmila, son Amit and daughter in law Mitali. After Raj entered the office alone, his family members camped at a nearby hotel
The ED has summoned Raj in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities related to Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) loan to Kohinoor CTNL. Mumbai police imposed section 144 of CrPC (banning unlawful assembly) outside the ED office and in some parts of Dadar, where the MNS chief resides and parts of central Mumbai
The ED is probing alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai's Dadar area.
Police personnel have been deployed in Dadar area in central Mumbai and other places where MNS has a stronghold, to maintain law and order. Mumbai police on Wednesday served notices to MNS functionaries and several party workers under section 149 of CrPC as a precautionary measure. Section 149 pertains to prevention of cognisable offences.
Security has also been beefed up at the ED's office situated at Ballard Estate ahead of MNS leader's appearance. Police have installed barricades and are monitoring movements near the probe agency's office.
Maharashtra Navniraman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, on Thursday reached the agency's office in south Mumbai with his family members in tow. All pictures/Ashish Raje and Atul Kamble
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