The complainant, Hitesh Keswani, alleged that Nitesh demanded money running into several lakhs every month.
Mumbai: Crying foul over a first information report (FIR) registered against him for alleged extortion of a restaurant owner, Congress MLA Nitesh Rane on Saturday refuted the charges. Terming it as a “society dispute,” Nitesh said he had complained about Estela restaurant to the police in April after the local citizens objected to noise from the restaurant. He said it was a conspiracy against him by the restaurant owner and said he would be filing a counter complaint against the restaurant.
An FIR was registered on Friday against Nitesh at Santa Cruz police station on a complaint by the owner of Estela restaurant that the Congress leader’s men were creating a ruckus and trying to shut down the outlet forcibly.
The complainant, Hitesh Keswani, alleged that Nitesh demanded money running into several lakhs every month and that the incident occurred after Keswani refused to pay him this time. The Santa Cruz police arrested two men — Moin Shaikh (36), and Mohammad Illiyas Ansari (36) — who allegedly landed at Estela at Juhu Tara Road at about 10.30pm.
However, Nitesh said, “Estela restaurant is near to my house. The local citizens have come to me complaining loud music and chaos at the venue. The citizens asked for help, after which I spoke to the municipal commissioner and the police to take action. But no action was taken till yesterday (Friday) by the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) or the police.”
The Congress MLA alleged that it was a conspiracy against him. “No money was deposited in my account. Why would I ask for money from the owner when I had complained against him? Also, instead of verifying the complaint and asking for my version, the police just registered the complaint,” he said.