Amravati murder: Rana couple denies links with prime accused

Amravati murder: Rana couple denies links with prime accused

The Rana couple - Independent MP Navneet Kaur-Rana

Mumbai, July 7 (IANS) The Rana couple - Independent MP Navneet Kaur-Rana and her husband and Independent MLA Ravi Rana - on Thursday rubbished charges that the alleged mastermind of the June 21 murder of Amravati pharmacist was linked to their party. "The allegations are absolutely baseless. We have never met him or even know him, he was never our worker. Whichever party they may belong to, strict action should be taken against them," said Ravi Rana, who is a 3-time MLA from Badnera. His wife is a first-time MP. His dismissal came after some TV channels aired news alleging one of their party workers was the mastermind behind the murder of veterinary pharmacist Umesh Kolhe. The Ranas have a political outfit called Yuva Swabhiman Party (YSP). The Ranas sought to counter the insinuations by pointing fingers at the former Congress Minister Yashomati Thakur tried to suppress the case when the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power. The City Kotwali Police Station, Amravati has arrested 7 accused including the mastermind Shaikh Irfan and the case was later taken over by National Investigation Agency (NIA). Meanwhile, a Special NIA Court in Mumbai sent all the accused to the NIA's custody till July 15, as the central agency intensified its probe. The NIA raided at least a dozen locations in the state and recovered hate pamphlets, mobile phones, memory and SIM cards, knives, from the homes of the accused. The agency is also attempting to unravel if they have any links with global terror groups. Late on the night of June 21 - when Maharashtra was in the throes of a major political crisis - two motorcycle-borne assailants stabbed Kolhe repeatedly in the neck when he was going home on his scooter. The trigger for the killing was Kolhe reportedly forwarding some social media posts supporting ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's denigrating posts on Prophet Mohammed last month.

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