Nitish Rane, son of Congressman and Maharashtra’s industry minister Narayan Rane, was arrested on Tuesday for attacking three people and vandalising public property after his car was reportedly stopped at a toll booth plaza in northern Goa and asked to pay toll. Eight men from Rane’s entourage have also been arrested on charges of assault and rioting, sources said.
Rane reportedly tried to impersonate his brother, Congress MP Nilesh, to dodge paying toll and later the police who tried to arrest him after the incident.
An official said Rane was on his way to Goa when his entourage was stopped at a toll booth in Dhargal as part of a new entry toll system set up by the Goa government for vehicles registered outside the state. Enraged, Rane first tried to impersonate his brother. Later, along with eight who were with him, tried to assault the occupants of the toll booth and tried to smash the boom barrier and the toll operator’s cabin.
Rane and the other accused were later picked up by the police from a hotel in Calangute. “Rane and eight others have been arrested under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” the official said.
An aide of Rane reportedly denied of assaulting anyone and instead claimed that one of Rane’s security guard was roughed up by toll booth workers.
In August, Rane was pilloried for his response to writer Shobhaa De on Twitter. She asked satirically if politicians would consider statehood for Mumbai after the creation of Telangana. Rane had tweeted in response, “Rather than twitter, Shoba De shud say the same thing on the streets of Mumbai openly after which she won’t be left with any ‘shoba’ (Grace) forever.”
In September 2010, Chintu Shaikh, a former member of Nitesh Rane’s NGO Swabhiman Sanghatana, had filed case against him alleging that he opened fire on him in the organisation’s Khar office. The Khar police had booked Nitesh and his two aides.