Anil Deshmukh sought ₹100 crore a month, says Param Bir Singh in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Days after being shunted out from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh has alleged that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had demanded ₹100 crore every month from suspended police officer Sachin Vaze, now in custody of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Antilia bomb scare case.
Mr. Singh levelled this allegation in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday.
Mr. Deshmukh, however, was quick to deny the charges, saying the letter is being written by an officer who is facing inquiry along with Mr. Vaze in the case. Mr. Singh’s letter comes in the wake of reports indicating a possible inquiry against him and his arrest by the NIA in the bomb scare case.
“The former Commissioner of Police, Param Bir Singh has made false allegations in order to save himself as the involvement of Sachin Vaze in Mukesh Ambani & Mansukh Hiren’s case is becoming clearer from the investigation carried out so far & threads are leading to Mr. Singh as well,” said Mr. Deshmukh. He added that he would be filing a defamation case agaisnt Mr. Singh.
In a statement, Mr Deshmukh said the alleged chat published by Mr. Singh with another officer, ACP Sachin Patil ,is of March 16, a day before he was shunted out from the responsibility.
“Why was he silent for all this time if he was informed about this in February? The only reason is to divert attention from the ongoing investigation in to explosive case as well as death of Mansukh Hiran as he is going to be in trouble for the same,” said Mr Deshmukh.
“He (Singh) is trying to blackmail the government after realising that he will land in trouble along with Sachin Waze in the explosive case. It is known that both Waze and Patil are close to Singh and the decision to reinstate Waze was taken in his capacity as no minister is involved in the same,” he added.
Mr Deshmukh said that he has demanded with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to conduct impartial probe and will be filing a defamation case against the officer.
The Opposition BJP was quick to demand action against Mr. Deshmukh citing allegations by Mr. Singh. They said Mr. Deshmukh should take moral responsibility.
Mr. Singh in his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “Shri Sachin Vaze who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police was called by Shri Anil Deshmukh, Hon’ble Home Minister, Maharashtra to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds for the Hon’ble Home Minister. In and around mid-February and thereafter, the Hon’ble Home Minister had called Shri Vaze to his official residence. At that time, one or two staff members of the Hon’ble Home Minister including his Personal Secretary, Mr. Palande, were also present. The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate ₹100 crore a month.”
According to Mr. Singh, the Minister told Mr. Vaze that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of ₹2-3 lakhs each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of ₹40-50 crore was achievable.
In the letter, Mr. Singh has also said that he was not in favour of Mumbai Police probing the suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar and was forced by the Minister looking for ‘political mileage.’ He even claimed that several of Mr. Deshmukh’s actions were politically motivated and he found Mr Singh’s reservation and resistance undesirable.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the resignation of Mr. Deshmukh. “The allegations levelled in the letter are extremely grave and never in the history of the State such has been made. Either the Home Minister should resign immediately accepting moral responsibility or Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray must ask him to tender resignation,” said leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis. The BJP has called for statewide agitation on Sunday demanding ouster of Mr Deshmukh.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray too has called for the resignation of Mr Deshmukh citing letter of Mr Singh.
The Congress, on the other hand, questioned the timing of the letter.
“Home Minister had said before a month that he was under pressure. The central agencies are being used to pressurise the administration,” said Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant.
Commenting on Mr Singh’s claim that suicide of MP Mohan Delkar should not have been probed by Mumbai police, he said that if Sushant Singh Rajput case can be probed by Bihar police then why can’t Mumbai police probe the Delkar death case. “The whole episode is being planned to suppress the Delkar death case,” he alleged.