'Corruption' in police transfers: Fadnavis meets Union Home Secretary; verbal volleys continue in Maharashtra
The former Maharashtra chief minister had claimed earlier in the day that he had 6.3 GB data of telephone calls intercepted by then Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla.
MUMBAI: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday met the Union Home Secretary in Delhi and demanded CBI probe into a purpoted state intelligence department report on `corruption' in police transfers in Maharashtra.
The former Maharashtra chief minister had claimed earlier in the day that he had 6.3 GB data of telephone calls intercepted by then Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla in which names of several key police officers figure.
"The Union Home Secretary clearly told me that they will verify the documents and evidence and a report will be submitted to the central government. The government will take appropriate action accordingly," he told reporters in the national capital.
"It is unfortunate that this (Maharashtra) government inducts police officers suspended for 16 years, they plant bombs, try to extort people. Maharashtra needs to be rescued from such situation," he said, apparently referring to police officer Sachin Waze, an accused in the case related to the bomb scare near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house.
Fadnavis claimed that after a detailed report on intercepted phone calls was prepared, then Maharashtra director general of police had recommended a CID probe.
"However, since August 25, 2020 there has been no action taken on the report. We want to know reasons behind it. Who are those people whom the MVA government is trying to protect," said the BJP leader.
On NCP spokesperson and state minister Nawab Malik's claim that Shukla collected this data without due permissions, Fadnavis said there were "enough documents to prove that phone call tapping was officially sanctioned by the government."
Asked why he was not sharing it with the media, he said it contained very sensitive information about Maharashtra police and some politicians and he did not want "innocent people to suffer".
Meanwhile, Maharashtra NCP chief and minister Jayant Patil on Tuesday asked who gave a senior police official the permission for phone tapping.
Speaking to reporters in Sangli, Patil asked if the official who carried out phone tapping had taken permission from the concerned authorities.
"On whose directions was the phone tapping done? Who had given the right to (then Commissioner of Intelligence) Rashmi Shukla to tap the phones? Was permission to tap phones taken? All this needs to be investigated," he said.
The State Intelligence Department (SID) is a sensitive wing of the police and it is a serious issue if communication between its chief and a DGP came out in the open, Patil said.
A question also arises about how the previous BJP-led government used the SID, the senior minister added.
"In the report the Leader of Opposition (Devendra Fadnavis) has cited, several things are false. All transfers had taken place as per the establishment board's directives," the NCP leader said.
Patil also dismissed the BJP's demand that President's rule be imposed in the state.
Fadnavis did a good job as Leader of Opposition in the recently-held Assembly session but insistence on imposition of President's Rule will make the BJP look greedy for power "and that kind of image is not good for the BJP", he said.
Earlier in the day, Fadnavis claimed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government did not act on an "incriminating" state intelligence department report containing audio intercepts of a "large scale corruption" in police transfers and postings.
The former Maharashtra CM said he had "6.3 GB data" of the calls intercepted by then Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla with due permissions, where names of several key police officers were discussed.
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday evening met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's official residence `Varsha' here.
Deshmukh is facing heat after former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh accused him of setting police officers a target of collecting Rs 100 crore per month from the pubs and bars.
The NCP leader has denied the allegations.
A delegation of BJP leaders including Fadnavis, state unit chief Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Ashish Shelar will meet Maharashtra governor B S Koshyari on Wednesday.
"The state has been direction-less for quite some time. We want governor Koshyari to seek a detailed status report from the chief secretary of Maharashtra," said a senior BJP leader.
The meeting is scheduled for 9.30 am, he said.
The meeting will take place amid the BJP's attempt to corner the Shiv Sena-led government over police officer Sachin Waze's arrest in the case related to bomb scare near Mukesh Ambani's house, corruption allegations against home minister Anil Deshmukh and intelligence department's report about alleged bribery in police transfers.