Hours after Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey tweeted a video of MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana sipping tea while in police custody, the MP on Tuesday issued an explanation through his lawyer alleging “bad treatment” at the Santacruz police station lockup after his arrest last Saturday, instead at the Khar police station.
The Independent MP from Amravati had earlier written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla alleging “inhumane treatment” at the “Khar police station” after “illegal detention”, in which he said he was not allowed to drink water and faced caste humiliation.
Advocate Rizwan Merchant, who represented Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana in court, said, “Apparently there were several tweets spread on social media through police commissioner Sanjay Pandey about a complaint lodged by (Navneet) Rana in relation to complaints of abuse while in custody police because they are not provided with basic facilities such as water, toilets and others …
“I just want to clarify that Mr Sanjay Pandey’s tweet is about the time my client spent at Khar police station after being arrested. The officer did offer tea, there is no doubt about it. But they (Rana couple) have been at Khar police station till 1 About 1 a.m., they (the Rana couple) were transferred to the Santacruz police station lock-up where they were detained overnight until they were arraigned in court, “said the merchant.
He said Navneet Rana’s complaint was not about detention at the Khar police station, but about the lock -up at the Santacruz police station.
In his letter to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Navneet Rana said he was stationed at the police station regardless of the office he held and was not given drinking water while in police custody. Ms Navneet claims she was abused because of her caste.
“I was taken to Khar Police Station on 23.04.2022 and I spent the night at the station on 23.04.2022 … I made several and repeated claims for drinking water throughout the night, yet no drinking water was provided to me throughout the night,” said Navneet Rana in the letter.
He sought action against the Mumbai Police Commissioner and other top officials for his “illegal” detention. The Lok Sabha secretariat on Monday asked for details from the Maharashtra government within 24 hours following allegations made by Navneet Rana against police after his arrest.
Earlier in the day, the Mumbai Police Commissioner wrote a 12-second video tweet, “Are we saying anything more”. The video clip shows the Rana couple sitting on chairs and sipping tea in front of police officers at a police station. Bottles of mineral water were also visible on the table in front of them.
Do we say anything more pic.twitter.com/GuUxldBKD5
– Sanjay Pandey (@sanjayp_1) 26 April 2022
Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana were arrested on Saturday after they made calls to chant Hanuman Chalisa outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘Matoshree’ house in Mumbai, sparking angry protests by Shiv Sena workers and supporters. The couple then withdrew their call, citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mumbai for an event.