Mob demands release of Maharashtra minister’s arrested son

    By IANS,

    Panaji: A mob of over 100 people Tuesday gathered outside a police station in Goa demanding the release of Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane’s son Nitesh, who was arrested along with eight others for smashing a toll booth and assaulting toll operators.

    Nitesh is being kept in the Pernem police station.

    Police personnel have been dispatched to the site to maintain law and order after the mob, many of whom came from southwestern Maharashtra, a bastion of the Rane clan, demanded that Nitesh be set free.

    Police said Nitesh has been shifted from the Pernem police station to a “secure” police station, away from the mob.

    The mob camped outside the Pernem police station building, located a short distance from the Goa-Maharashtra border.

    Nitesh and eight people from his entourage were arrested after a scuffle broke out when toll operators demanded toll fare from them.

    Police said Nitesh inititally tried to impersonate his brother, Congress MP Nilesh Rane, to dodge paying toll at the booth and later to escape the police who tried to arrest him after the vandalism at the booth.

    An official said Nitesh was on his way to Goa when his entourage was stopped at a toll booth in Dhargal as part of a new entry toll system put in place by the Goa government for vehicles registered outside the state.

    The fare demanded from Rane’s entourage was Rs.250 per four-wheeler.

    Enraged, Rane first tried to impersonate his brother but later, along with eight others who were in his entourage, tried to assault the occupants of the toll booth and smash the boom barrier and the toll operator’s cabin as well, and escape.

    Rane and the other accused were later picked up by the police from a hotel in Calangute. The hotel is operated by a company owned by the Rane family.

    “Nitesh Rane and eight others have been arrested under sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code,” police said.