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Mumbai Police book BJP’s Somaiya, son in INS Vikrant ‘crowd-funds scam’

“The RTI replies have revealed that not a single paisa was submitted to the Raj Bhavan as promised by Somaiya. This is a big issue. It’s ‘The Vikrant Files’, and bigger than ‘The Kashmir Files’. The Vikrant involves national security and the sentiments of the masses,” Raut pointed out.

IANS | Mumbai |

For allegedly siphoning of around Rs 57 crore collected through ‘crowd-funding’ to save the decommissioned aircraft carrier Vikrant, the Mumbai Police have registered a case against Bharatiya Janata Party activist Kirit Somaiya and his son Neil K. Somaiya.

The Trombay Police filed the case following a complaint by a retired Indian Army soldier Baban B. Bhosale, invoking Indian Penal Code Section 406, 420 and 34 against the father-son duo and others.

The development comes a day after Shiv Sena MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut made the sensational allegations that an amount of Rs 57-crore collected from the masses under the guise of saving Vikrant, which bowed out of service in 1997 and later scrapped, was swindled off by Somaiya.

However, Somaiya has stoutly denied the allegations and said he was prepared to face any probe in the matter, even as a large number of Shiv Sainiks staged protests against him in Chembur.

Raut said that the revelations came in an RTI application filed by an activist Dhirendra Upadhyaya to the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan, which sent its reply last month.

“The RTI replies have revealed that not a single paisa was submitted to the Raj Bhavan as promised by Somaiya. This is a big issue. It’s ‘The Vikrant Files’, and bigger than ‘The Kashmir Files’. The Vikrant involves national security and the sentiments of the masses,” Raut pointed out.

Earlier, late on Wednesday, Bhosale accompanied by Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Raut and other party workers went to Trombay Police Station to submit the complaint on which the follow-up action was initiated on Thursday.

Somaiya, along with BJP ally Republican Party of India (A) activists had launched collection drives at major spots in Mumbai to save Vikrant and promised to hand over the amount to the then Governor K. Sankaranarayanan.

Terming them as ‘traitors’ Raut demanded that Somaiya and BJP must reply whether the amount collected in 2013-2014 in the name of the movement to save Vikrant was given to Raj Bhavan or not, and if not, then where has the amount collected gone.