MUMBAI: Even as the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi has hardened its stance rejecting demands for his ouster, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging him to get the charges against him probed. Deshmukh has been accused by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh of directing some officers to raise Rs 100 crore per month from business establishments.
In his letter, the minister has asked the CM to order an investigation so that the truth comes out. “I am ready to face any sort of inquiry,” he said adding that Singh’s charges intended to damage his political career.The MVA has come out in support of Deshmukh, making it clear that he wouldn’t step down. Senior NCP leader and minister Nawab Malik reiterated that Singh had made the allegation because he was shunted out. Amid the political turmoil in the state, NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter and MP Supriya Sule met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and thanked her for her “valuable guidance”.
Meanwhile, a report by the state’s chief secretary Sitaram Kunte stated that former Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla had sought permission for intercepting the phones of people considered a security threat to Maharashtra and India, but actually tapped the phones of MVA leaders.
Following former CM Devendra Fadnavis’s allegation of large scale corruption in transfer and posting of police officers, ruling alliance leaders have claimed that Shukla is a BJP agent. CM Thackeray had asked the chief secretary on Wednesday to prepare a report over the allegations against the IPS officer.
The report, submitted on Thursday, further stated that Shukla was also threatening some independent lawmakers and asking them to support the BJP. CM Thackeray, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and other senior leaders have warned of strict action against officials who are found “acting at the behest of the BJP”. Fadnavis had cited the phone intercepts made by Shukla to level the allegation of corruption and lobbying for police posts.
Custody of Waze extended till April 3
The NIA special court extended the police custody of Sachin Waze, arrested in connection with Antilia bomb scare case, up to April 3. Waze pleaded that he was being made a scapegoat in the entire case. The NIA, however, said his alleged crime fell in the category of ‘terrorist act’ and Waze had to be confronted with the other accused in the related case of Mansukh Hiren’s murder.
Param Bir Singh moves Bombay HC
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh filed a petition in Bombay High Court on Thursday demanding a CBI inquiry against Anil Deshmukh. The petition claims the home minister had asked police officers Sachin Waze and Sanjay Patil to collect `100 crore per month from pubs, bars and restaurants in Mumbai. Singh sought an HC direction to the CBI to secure CCTV footage from Deshmukh’s residence before it was destroyed. The PIL also raised the issue of alleged corruption in police transfers and postings in the state. The IPS officer had earlier this week approached the Supreme Court, which on Wednesday asked him to approach the High Court.