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Opinion

Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik raided by Enforcement Directorate, her party says it is political

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On Tuesday morning, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) conducted searches at 10 locations, including facilities linked to Thane-based Shiv Sena lawmaker Pratap Sarnaik. The raids are taking place at various locations in Mumbai and Thane in connection with a money laundering case.

A senior executive from the Directorate of Enforcement said the searches were taking place at sites in Mumbai and Thane linked to promoters of a private company and some politicians. The official declined to give details of the case.

Pratap Sarnaik, Chairman of Vihang Group Of Companies that has invested in real estate development in Thane, represents Ovala-Majiwada in the state assembly. He is also the party’s spokesman in Mira-Bhayander, a town in the Thane district.

ED officials said facilities linked to Pratap Sarnaik’s sons, Purvesh and Vihang, were also searched.

Sarnaik’s party said the raids were an attempt to pressure Shiv Sena lawmakers, but that it would not work.

“If someone thinks they can use central agencies and form a government, they are wrong. No matter how many notices or raids are carried out, none of our legislators will be pressured or bowed down to you. This is mere politics. The Directorate of Execution must not behave as a branch of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Today Pratap Sarnaik and his sons are not in Mumbai and this raid took place, ”said Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson, Sanjay Raut, of the ED searches.

Opposition leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was not aware of the details of the DE’s action, but that no one should be afraid of such action if he has done nothing wrong. “The Directorate of Enforcement does not take any action unless it has strong evidence,” he said.

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