Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, two others booked for extorting money from restaurant owners

The complaint against Nitesh Rane was filed by Hitesh Keswani,(one of the owners of Estela restaurant) at Santa Cruz police station

Son of veteran politician Narayan Rane and Congress MLA, Nitesh Rane and two others were booked on Friday after they allegedly created a ruckus at an upmarket Juhu restaurant and forcibly shut it down.

The complaint was filed by Hitesh Keswani,(one of the owners of Estela restaurant) at Santa Cruz police station in Mumbai. In his complaint, Keswani has alleged that they have paid Nitesh Rs 50 lakh-Rs 10 lakh each month, according to Times of India. Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Rashmi Karandikar confirmed that Rane had been booked as per the complainant’s claim, but had not been arrested.

A statement issued by the Mumbai Police read: “After entering restaurant, both of them started shouting and used abusive language, ransacked, whilst forcibly trying to shutdown the restaurant . Based on the statement given complainant Hitesh Keshwani, Santacruz police station has registered a case against three persons and two persons has been arrested.”

The three were booked under several charges including extortion, trespassing, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code.

Two of Rane’s aides, Moin Shaikh and Mohammed Ansari (both 36), were held on Thursday night for allegedly forcing Estella Hotel on Juhu Tara Road to down shutters for refusing to give Rs 10 lakh to Nitesh, reports Times of India.

Speaking with the daily, Keswani said that he and his partner Nikhil Mehrani had taken a 3,500 sq ft sea-facing property in Nichani Kuttir. “A month later, when the restaurant started, Nitesh called, demanding that he be made a partner, he added.

Reactiing to the development, Rane said, “Hitesh Keswani (one of the restaurant’s partners) is a good friend; the matter has been handled wrongly. It is a case of misunderstanding and the matter will be resolved by Saturday.”