Police on Thursday imposed prohibitory orders outside the Mumbai office of the Enforcement Directorate where Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray arrived for questioning around 11 am, ANI reported. The investigating agency issued the summons as part of its investigation into alleged money laundering in the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services group.
The prohibitory orders were issued under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bars unlawful assembly of more than four people.
Police officials said that the decision to ban gatherings was taken in view of a likely law and order situation. “Raj [Thackeray] has appealed his party workers not to throng outside the ED office but we don’t want to take any chances,” an unidentified police official was quoted as saying.
Earlier in the day, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande was detained by Shivaji Park police as a preventive measure, ANI reported. On Wednesday, police officials served notices to many party workers under Section 149 (to prevent cognisable offences) of the Code of Criminal Procedure as a precaution.
Heavy police force was stationed outside the agency’s office as officials anticipated a crowd to be present when Thackeray reached for questioning. “The area outside the ED office has been covered with barricades from three sides of the building and there is just one way to enter or exit,” PTI quoted an unidentified official as saying.
Thackeray took to Twitter on Tuesday to address party workers and urged them to maintain peace. “No harm or damage should come upon any public property and the common man should not suffer in any way,” the statement read. “Kindly ensure that this is followed diligently. Also, do maintain utmost calm and peace even if provoked.”
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating IL&FS’s loan and equity investment of Rs 860 crore in Kohinoor CTNL. It summoned Thackeray and Unmesh Joshi, the son of former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, to its offices in connection with the case. The party had alleged on Monday that the notice to its chief Raj Thackeray in the money laundering case was “political vendetta”.
IL&FS is an infrastructure lending giant that defaulted on several payments last year. The firm was so large that the defaults had been compared to the 2008 Lehman Brothers crisis, which triggered a global financial meltdown. The company has an overall debt of Rs 91,000 crore. It had attempted to sell its assets to repay the debt after several defaults forced the government to overhaul its management.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.