Khadse threatens earth shattering revelations
Addressing a group of his supporters in Jalgaon, former Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said that if he "opened his mouth" about the Dawood Ibrahim allegations, "the country would shake." The Congress demanded that he be taken into the custody of the ATS, because his comments hinted at contact with Dawood. The NCP added that he should come clean about any possible links.
66-year old Dawood Ibrahim is an underworld fugitive 'wanted' in India in connection with the 1993 serial blasts. The blasts killed 257 people and injured 717 people. US officials have alleged that he even had connections to Osama Bin Laden.
Vadodara-based Manish Bhangale hacked into a Pakistan Telecommunication Company, hacked into call records of four cell phone numbers registered under the name of Mehjabin Shaikh. He discovered four Indian numbers on which Dawood Ibrahim spoke regularly. On checking the details of the numbers, it was detected that one of them belonged to Mr. Khadse. Eknath Khadse rubbished these allegations, calling them "baseless."
The Aam Aadmi Party asserted that Maharashtra revenue minister, Eknath Khadse has been in touch with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and demanded his resignation from the Cabinet. The incident came to light when Manish Bhangale, an "ethical hacker" hacked into Dawood's wife Mehjabin Shaikh's cellphone records. Khadse accepted that the number belonged to him but claimed that it had been out of service.
After receiving a letter from AAP, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis asked Mumbai Police to dig into the matter. Police chief Dattatray Padsalgikar said, ''We have analysed the call records from the cell company and haven't found any incoming or outgoing international calls or for that matter any calls to Pakistan.'' Police officials have been in touch with the hacker and his partner.
On Monday, AAP expressed ashtonishment at the speed with which Mumbai Police gave a clean chit to Khadse. According to AAP, Eknath Khadse allegedly received calls from Dawood Ibrahim's residency between 4 September 2015 and 5 April 2016. National Spokesperson of AAP, Preeti Sharma Menon said, "This is a national security matter and ideally the central government that should investigate it."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed the Anti-Terrorism Squad to probe allegations that Eknath Khadse received calls from underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Currently, the case is being investigated by the cyber crime cell and local police, and the Director General of Police was supervising the probe. Khadse said, "both I and the Chief Minister wanted the matter to be investigated."
Vadodara based ethical hacker Manish Bhangale alleged that the Mumbai police has strong electronic evidence against the minister, and yet no proper action has been taken against him. Bhangale alleged that the Maharashtra police is in a hurry to give a clean chit to the minister. He added that attempts were being made to erase his email records and discredit him.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Amit Shah at the BJP headquarters to discuss the controversy over Eknath Khadse's alleged links to the underworld. Speaking to the press after the meeting Fadnavis said "The party will direct whatever appropriate action has to be taken ahead." However, several state BJP members have also come out in support of Khadse.
Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse resigned from all his ministerial portfolios ending a week-long speculation on his resignation. BJP's OBC face in Maharashtra, Khadse was embroiled in controversies like a land deal in Pune and bribery demands by his close aide Gajanan Patil for land in Kalyan. His resignation came after, Amit Shah expressed BJP's "zero-tolerance for corruption" to CM Fadnavis.
Congress party spokesman Randeep Surjewala demanded that criminal proceedings begin against Eknath Khadse over his alleged links to Dawood Ibrahim and corruption allegations. He stated that his resignation "wouldn't do away with the need for an independent probe into the alleged Dawood Ibrahim terror connection." He also called the MIDC corruption allegations a "classic case of gross abuse of public office."