Rana Couple Gets Bail In Hanuman Chalisa Row

Story Highlights
  • Court allowed their release on a bond of Rs 50,000.
  • The couple cannot make any statements to the press related to the case.
  • Police claimed that the opposition was trying to show that the CM was against Hindus.

Mumbai: Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband and MLA Ravi Rana, who was arrested after a public declaration that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s home, were granted bail by a Mumbai court today. The couple has been named accused in two FIRs under the charges of sedition, promoting enmity and assaulting a public servant to prevent discharge of duty.

Granting the couple bail, special judge R N Rokade said they shall not commit a similar offence while on bail and not address the press on any subject related to the case. In their plea, the couple had claimed that the call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, cannot be said to be an act that promotes feelings of enmity or hatred and the charge under IPC section 153(A) cannot be sustained.

They also submitted that by no stretch of imagination can the acts be stated to constitute the offence of sedition. The police had opposed the bail plea; saying that while the plan looks innocent, it was, in fact, a big plot to challenge the ruling government. The police claimed that the opposition BJP in the state and political opponents of Thackeray were trying to create an atmosphere to show that the chief minister was against Hindus and not sponsoring the cause of Hinduism.

April 23rd saw high drama; following the couple’s declaration, Shiv Sena workers camped outside ‘Matoshree’. Former Mumbai Mayor and Sena leader Kishori Pednekar said, “Let them come, we are ready to welcome them and give them ‘prasad’.” The party leaders accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to harass the Sena-led coalition government in Maharashtra.

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