Hanuman Chalisa Row: Bombay HC Refuses To Quash FIR Against Rana Couple

Mumbai: On April 25, the Bombay High Court has dismissed the petition filed by MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana seeking to quash the FIR filed for allegedly assaulting the police officer who came to arrest the couple. The police action came after the couple decided to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree. 

This political fight of Hanuman Chalisa began in the state after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief and Uddhav Thackeray’s brother, Raj Thackeray, gave an ultimatum to the state to remove loudspeakers from mosques. He said that if loudspeakers from mosques are not removed by May 3, the MNS would play the Hanuman Chalisa to counter the azaan.

Based on an FIR under section 353 of the Indian Penal Code, they were arrested. Section 353 of IPC deals with assault or use of criminal force against a public servant in the execution of his duty.

They have been also booked under IPC section 153 (A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), and section 135 of the Mumbai Police Act (violation of prohibitory orders of police).

MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana are sent for judicial remand till May 6 by a Mumbai Court.

The couple had earlier on Saturday alleged that they were not allowed to leave their home because of a huge deployment of cops and a massive protest by the Shiv Sena workers. They had warned they would chant the hymn in praise of the Hindu God outside the CM’s home, challenging his stance on Hindutva.

Later, the lawmaker duo backed off, citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mumbai on Sunday. “Our aim was fulfilled, though Ravi Rana and I couldn’t reach ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s Mumbai residence), ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ that was supposed to be chanted by us was chanted by bhakts,” Navneet Rana said shortly before her arrest.

“Shiv Sena has become a party of goons. Uddhav Thackeray only knows how to file offenses against people and put them behind bars. He’s creating a Bengal-like situation in Maharashtra,” she added.

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