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Sanjay Raut Used Political Clout To Force Land Owners Sell Their Land: ED

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: September 25, 2022 15:42
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Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut used his clout to force many land owners to sell their land in Kihim, and the cash above the registered value was also paid to him. The revelations have been made by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its charge sheet filed before a special PMLA case.

The allegations were made on the basis of the statement of Swapna Patkar recorded by the ED on five occasions between December 9, 2020, and August 23 this year.

In her statement to ED, Patkar stated that she jointly holds eight land parcels with Raut’s wife Varsha at Village Kihim in Alibaug. She stated that all the lands are in close proximity to the sea and are contiguous. They have been amalgamated into one large parcel of land.

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Spilling beans for the Rajya Sabha MP, Patkar said that the declared value for registration was a meagre amount of ₹5-6 lakh whereas each parcel was costing approximately ₹1 crore.

“Thus, the actual value of the property is in the range of ₹9-10 crore whereas the total value declared for registration is ₹51 lakh,” she said.

Patkar said, “Thus, huge cash changed hands. The cash component was arranged by Raut and Sujit Patker, who coordinated with the buyers before handing them the cash. Subhash Raut, Sanjay Raut’s uncle, was the point man for these land transactions in Alibaug.”

She also stated that these lands were declared by Raut in his election affidavit and were acquired through 2010-12, and that “cheques were issued by her to the land owners for the registered value”.

Patkar also stated that these funds were transferred from Sujit Patker’s personal bank account to Patkar’s Saraswat Bank account, and that all of these properties were purchased between 2010 and 2012.

“The amount over and above the registration was paid in cash by Raut. He is originally from Alibaug, and by using his clout he forced many of the landowners to sell the land,” she alleged.

She even stated that her husband, Sujit Patker, used to coordinate with all the land owners for the cash. “Sujit Patker was handling the cash on behalf of Raut. He was the person who was collecting cash and handing over the same to the land owners,” Patkar stated.

She also told the ED that she was witness to many of these discussions between Sujit Patker and the landowners.

On being asked, Patkar said that her husband is still handling the cash and other business of the Shiv Sena leader.

“Her husband has been made director in a number of companies floated by Raut, and she has met one land owner, Sridhar Balkrushna Edekar, a very old person. She came to know later that he had been threatened to sell his land and that all the dealings or negotiations, with the land sellers, were done by Raut most of the time telephonically from his mobile,” she alleged.

Patkar also told the ED that all the ownership documents are with Raut and that she had visited the said area twice or three times, and during all these visits the Shiv Sena leader was accompanying her.

She also said that the money generated through illegal activities from Raut’s involvement in various projects, such as the redevelopment of Patra Chawl at Goregaon Project through HDIL and similar redevelopment projects in Bhendi Bazar using his political position, was invested in the purchase of land at Kihim Village in Alibaug.

Raut was arrested by the ED on August 1, this year, in connection with the Patra Chawl money laundering case.

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