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Rebuffed Rane wags finger at govt

Mumbai, Nov. 26: Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane, angry with the Democratic Front government for not taking action against those who set his house on fire at Kankavali on Saturday, today said the “deadline’’ had expired and the Sena would take “action” on its own.

The former Maharashtra chief minister has been accusing the administration and the government of “shielding’’ the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) activists who razed his house, two cars and a petrol pump that he owned. The government and the NCP have been deafeningly quiet on the issue.

NCP leader and deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal continues to say that though he doesn’t condone the violence, he is “aware’’ that the attacks were in retaliation to the death of a local NCP leader.

Rane has publicly castigated Sindhudurg superintendent of police Quaiser Khalid, under whose jurisdiction his house falls, and gheroed the Kankavali police station. He has been demanding the arrest of the Sindhudurg NCP chief, Deepak Kesarkar, and leader Sandesh Parkar, alleging that they were in the forefront of the attacks.

Though inspector-general of police K.P. Raghuvanshi went to Rane’s house and assured him of action, the Sainiks don’t seem to be too convinced. Not even with the arrest of 22 people allegedly involved in the incidents and the government’s handing over the investigations to the CID.

There have already been reports of Sena activists targeting and burning the houses of some tribal Lamanis, reported to be among the mob of around 800 that swooped on Rane’s premises. They have allegedly beaten up residents who were known to sympathise with the NCP.

Violence had erupted at Kankavali following the murder of NCP leader Vijay Bhishe, allegedly by Sena men. Sena leaders Rajan Teli and Milind Dalvi have been arrested for Bhishe’s murder. Three men, who were said to be NCP and Congress supporters, have also been arrested in connection with the case.

The Sindhudurg police refused to confirm the affiliations of the three arrested. “Evidence, not affiliation” was what they are bothered about, they said.

However, Rane today named the accused in public. “One of those arrested is Ramesh Pardhiye, a Congress zilla parishad candidate,’’ he claimed. “The other is a government officer who was the NCP candidate for the sarpanch’s post in the recent elections to the local bodies. The third man is an NCP worker.”

The NCP, a partner in the ruling coalition, today demanded the arrest of Rane saying it had “evidence’’ that the Sena leader was a prime conspirator in the murder of Bhishe.

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