Ahead of Raj's ED appearance, MNS worker ends life

Ahead of Raj's ED appearance, MNS worker ends life

The youth has been identified as Praveen Chowgule. The incident took place at his house in Vitawa near Kalwa in Thane.

In a shocking incident, an activist of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) ended his life a day before the regional political outfit's founder-President Raj Thackeray appears at the Enforcement Directorate office in Mumbai.

The MNS worker was identified as Pravin Chowgule, a resident of Thane, who was an ardent follower and diehard fan of Raj, the charismatic nephew of late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

He allegedly doused himself with kerosene and set himself afire at his residence in Kalwa township around 10 pm on Tuesday night.
No suicide note has been found by Thane police.

However, before he ended life, Chowgule (28), put up multiple posts on his Facebook account vis-a-vis the ED summons to Thackeray. "Pravin Chowgule fell to the politics of BJP," close Raj aide Sandeep Deshpande said, while appealing MNS workers to be calm.

While MNS leaders said that because of the ED notice, Chowgale was "depressed and worried", local police said he was an alcoholic and had attempted suicide earlier as well.

"The party men knew him for his enthusiasm and he would paint his body in the party colour during every big political event organised by the MNS...it is a major loss for the party," party leaders said.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police served notice under CrPC 149 to leaders and members of MNS in the wake of leaders and workers going to the ED's regional office in Mumbai.  "Strict action would be taken if law and order is violated," police officials said.

Security was also beefed up in the Mumbai metropolitan region in wake of Raj's appearance before the ED on Thursday.

Raj, himself, in a signed statement, has appealed MNS workers to be calm and said that he would be appearing before ED as a summons from law-enforcement agencies are not new to him. "This time too,  we must honour the summons of ED," he said,  requesting for "peace and harmony".

"No harm or damage should come upon any public property and the common man should not suffer in any way," he said,  requesting MNS workers to maintain utmost calm even if provoked.

The ED is probing alleged irregularities related to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai's prime Dadar area.

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