Maharashtra: Ex-Mumbai Police chief's explosive allegations against Home Minister Deshmukh
The former Commissioner of the Mumbai Police, IPS Officer Param Bir Singh, has made explosive allegations of corruption against Maharashtra's Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh, in a letter addressed to CM Uddhav Thackeray. This comes just days after he was replaced as the Mumbai Police chief amid the row over an explosives-laden SUV found near billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence, Antilia, in Mumbai. Here's more.
Singh was removed as the Mumbai Police chief and appointed as the Director-General Home Guard on March 17 in the fallout of the probe against police officer Sachin Vaze. Vaze was recently arrested by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the case relating to an abandoned Mahindra Scorpio found near Antilia with 20 gelatin sticks last month. Notably, Vaze was initially investigating the case.
Later, on Thursday, addressing reporters on Singh's abrupt transfer to the Home Guard, Deshmukh alleged he wasn't transferred through a routine procedure. He added that some "unforgivable lapses" in the probe into the case relating to the Antilia bomb scare under Singh triggered his transfer.
Meanwhile, Singh made some serious allegations of corruption against Deshmukh in the letter on Saturday, saying the Home Minister "had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crore a month." He alleged Deshmukh called Vaze—who had headed Mumbai Police Crime Branch's Crime Intelligence Unit—several times to his official residence, Dyaneshwar, in the last few months and repeatedly instructed him to assist in collecting funds.
In the letter, Singh claimed Deshmukh told Vaze that for achieving the Rs. 100 crore monthly target, they must collect money from about 1,750 bars, restaurants, and other establishments in Mumbai. The Home Minister told Vaze that by collecting Rs. 2-3 lakh from each of these establishments, they can accumulate Rs. 40-50 crore a month and the remaining could be collected from other sources.
"Shri Vaze came to my office the same day and informed me of the above Deshmukh's target of collecting Rs. 100 crore every month," wrote Singh. "I was shocked with the above discussion and was mulling over how to deal with the situation," he added.
Singh further claimed Deshmukh also called Sanjay Patil, ACP of Social Services Branch, to discuss Mumbai's hookah parlors, adding Deshmukh's Personal Secretary, Palande, and other officers attended that meeting. Later, Patil along with DCP Bhujbal was called for a meeting where Palande informed them of Deshmukh's target of Rs. 40-50 crore. Patil allegedly informed Singh about the demands to make these collections for Deshmukh.
In the letter sent to Thackeray, Singh wrote that at one of the briefing sessions held in mid-March regarding the Antilia incident at the Chief Minister's official residence, Varsha, he had actually informed Thackeray about Deshmukh's misdeeds. "I had pointed out several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged into by the Hon'ble Home Minister," the former Mumbai Police Chief stated.
Singh also stated that he had, in fact, briefed Maharashtra's Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar, and several other senior ministers of the state about the Home Minister's misdeeds and malpractices. "On my briefings, I noticed that some of the Ministers were already aware about some aspects mentioned by me to them," he added.
Singh hints that #UddhavThackeray #SharadPawar #AjitPawar and other leaders knew about this as he had pointed out the malpractices of the Home Minister after the #Antilla incident!— Siddharth Zarabi (@szarabi) March 20, 2021