Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, after undergoing nearly nine hours of questioning by the Enforcement Direc-torate (ED) in connection with the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (ILFS) scam on Thursday, vowed to continue his tirade against the Narendra Modi government.
Emerging from the ED office at around 8.15 pm, Mr Thackeray merely greeted mediapersons with folded hands, got into his car and drove home.
However, after reaching his Dadar residence, Krishnakunj, the firebrand politician broke his silence. “Let them conduct as many inquiries against me as they want. But they cannot shut me up. Nobody can stop me from speaking and I will continue to do my work,” he said.
The MNS leader had left his home at around 10.30 am and reached the ED office at 11.20 am along with his wife Sharmila, son Amit, daughter-in-law Mitali and daughter Urvashi. However, as ED officials allowed entry only to Mr Thackeray, his family had to spend the entire day in nearby Grant Hotel.
Mr Thackeray visited the ED office as the officers had summoned him for questioning in the case.
According to an ED officer, Mr Thackeray was mostly questioned about the shareholding pattern in Kohinoor CTNL and the facts that came to fore during the questioning of others whom the agency had already grilled over the past few days.
Since Monday, the ED has been questioning Unmesh Joshi, son of Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi and MNS leader Rajan Shirodkar. The duo, along with Mr Thackeray, were partners in a consortium that formed Kohinoor CTNL, to which IL&FS paid close to Rs 860 crore in the form of loans and investments.
An ED officer has hinted that the probe agency has not called Mr Thackeray again for questioning and it is unlikely that he would be called again for similar inquiry unless new facts emerge in the ensuing probe.
In order to tackle law and order situations, the Mumbai police had put in place tight security at potential spots and the ED office was cordoned off so that Mr Thackeray’s supporters could not cause any disturbance in the area. DCP Zone I Sangramsinh Nishandar as well as Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) Nisith Mishra were personally handling security at the spot. The police had placed barricades to all roads leading up to the ED office and one lane from the General Post Office signal to the ED office was closed to vehicular traffic.
Mr Nishandar said that orders against unlawful assembly were issued under provisions of Section 144 of the CrPC in jurisdictions of the MRA Marg, Marine Drive and Azad Maidan police stations in south Mumbai and Dadar and Shivaji Park police stations in Central Mumbai as a precautionary measure.