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Trafficking case on Thackeray grandson

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SADAF MODAK   |   Published 11.03.11, 12:00 AM

Mumbai, March 10: Police have lodged an immoral-trafficking case against Bal Thackeray’s grandson Nihar after “rescuing” nine alleged victims of prostitution from a bar run from a property he owns.

Nihar, son of the Shiv Sena boss’s eldest son, the late Bindumadhav Thackeray, has no known links to politics and does not share a roof with Bal Thackeray.

Still, a Thackeray being linked to bars and prostitution should be particularly embarrassing for the Sena, known for moral policing by its toughs who often beat up Valentine’s Day couples in the name of Indian culture.

The police have arrested three employees of the Sangeet Bar and say they are looking for Nihar and two other accused, without explaining why they haven’t been able to find the Thackeray grandson.

Officers had raided the bar in the western Santacruz suburbs at 1.10am on Wednesday after a tip-off. The nine women have been sent to a rescue home, sources said.

“While we do not know whether Nihar was a partner in the bar, he owned the establishment from where it was operating. Under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act, a case can be registered against such a person too,” said investigating officer Rajiv Chavan.

One officer, though, said Nihar possibly owned other bars in the city, including one in Tardeo.

Maharashtra had banned “dance bars” for alleged sleaze in 2005. Home minister R.R. Patil recently launched a fresh crackdown on establishments that are allegedly circumventing the ban under the guise of “orchestra bar”.

The police claimed the raid was a part of the ongoing drive and had no political motivation.

Nihar’s father was killed in a car accident in April 1996. Bal Thackeray has two other sons: Jaidev, who too lives separately, and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, whose son Aditya heads the Sena youth wing.

Uddhav’s aide Harshal Pradhan refused to talk about the police case and said the family wouldn’t want to comment. Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe hung up without comment.

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