Swapna Patkar, a former associate of jailed Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who had turned against him by giving a statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has said that she jointly owns 8 land parcels with Varsha Raut (the wife of the Shiv Sena leader) at Kihim village in Alibaug.
As per ED, the total value of the land holdings is roughly between Rs 9-10 crores whereas the value declared for registration was just Rs 51 lakh.
“All the land is in close proximity to the sea and contiguous and have been amalgamated into one large parcel of land. The value for registration declared is meager i.e in the range of Rs 5-6 lakh whereas each parcel was costing approximately Rs 1 crore. Thus, the actual value of the property is in the range of Rs 9-10 crore whereas the total value declared for registration is 51 lakh,” said ED about her statement.
ED also said that the cash for purchasing the land was arranged by Sanjay Raut and Sujit Patkar (Swapna’s husband) handled the negotiation process with the sellers.
“The cash component was arranged by Sanjay Raut and Sujit Patkar (Swapna’s husband) coordinated with the buyers for handing them the cash. Subhash Raut, uncle of Sanjay Raut was the point man for these land transactions in Alibaug,” says ED which believes that the money that was given as cash came from the proceeds of the scam committed in the Patra Chawl case.
However, the Alibaug land parcels have been declared by Sanjay Raut in his election affidavit and were acquired through 2010-12; cheques were issued by to the land owners for the registered value.
“The amount over and above the registration was paid in cash by Sanjay Raut. He is originally from Alibaug and by using his clout he forced many of the landowners to sell the land,” ED has alleged.
Patkar, in her statement, mentioned about meeting one land owner and said that she came to know later that he had been threatened to sell his land. ED has also recorded the statement of this land seller’s daughter as her parents have now passed away.
The daughter, in her statement, said that her father had purchased 1 acre of land in the year 1995. He constructed one bungalow and in the rest of the land, he had made approximately 16 plots. His father sold 7-8 plots to some people and the remaining plots were forcibly acquired by Sanjay Raut.
As per the daughter, her father had no intention to sell Kihim land, but it was sold after a threat over call was received from Sanjay Raut’s aides.
“In the year 2009, Sanjay Raut contacted my father for purchase of the land as he came to know about the land from local persons,” she said.
The daughter also alleged that her father had told her that Sanjay Raut had approached him but since he was not ready to sell the land, the Shiv Sena leader’s men used to threaten him. She also said that her father had requested Sanjay Raut to spare at least one plot of land, and in reply to this Sanjay Raut had said “Jeevant raahu shaknar nahi” (You won’t be alive). The daughter said that it was finally out of fear and due to the threats to his life that he had sold the land.
She further added that her father had received Rs 38 lakhs in cash, while the Rs 7 lakh payment received through cheque had been deposited by him in the bank.
She also claimed that during the signing of the agreement, 10-15 people associated with Sanjay Raut were present and they had compelled him to sign the documents and her father was not happy with the amounts he had received in exchange.
Swapna Patekar, meanwhile, in her statement had said that the money generated through illegal activities from Sanjay 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 used for purchasing land at Kihim Village, Alibaug.
Patekar worked as a columnist for Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ from 2008-2014 and had earlier helped Sanjay Raut in writing articles in English and also assisted him in Rajya Sabha-related works. She used to sit in the Saamna office during her stint there.
In her statement to ED, she also claimed that during this period she had seen employees of Pravin Raut visiting the Saamna office and handing over money directly to Sanjay Raut.
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