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THE THANE police plan to bring arrested detective Satish Mangle face to face with Deputy Superintendent of Police Pravin Patil as part of their probe into a complaint of extortion lodged by senior bureaucrat Radhyesham Mopalwar. The move comes after its Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) did not find Patil’s answers satisfactory, according to sources.
Patil had been quizzed by the AEC office in Thane for a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon. He allegedly told the AEC that he did introduce Mangle to Mopalwar after the latter sought help to engage a private detective in his divorce case against his third wife, but he did not gain any pecuniary benefit out of it. Patil also claimed to have no knowledge of the money paid to Mangle for his “services” to Mopalwar.
“Patil was summoned to the Thane AEC office on Thursday to record his statement. His statement has been recorded. We are examining it,” AEC chief Pradeep Sharma told The Indian Express.
However, a senior official privy to the details said they were not satisfied with Patil’s answers and he would be summoned soon for a face-to-face with Mangle. “After going through his statement, we will summon him again and this time confront him with Mangle to find out if there was any pecuniary benefit in introducing Mangle to Mopalwar,” said the official.
According to the sources, Patil has told the AEC sleuths that his uncle Madhukar Patil was acquainted to Mopalwar owing to their posting in the same district, and that he had known Mopalwar for the last eight years. Patil reportedly said he had not been in touch with Mopalwar after introducing Mangle to him.
However, earlier this year, after he learnt about the allegation of corruption levelled by Mangle against Mopalwar and the latter registered a case of extortion and blackmailing with the Thane police, Patil had briefly discussed the case with him during an informal meeting.
“Patil claims that Mopalwar had approached him in 2014 to help arrange a detective as he was pursuing his divorce case against his third wife. Post the introduction, Patil had never enquired with the two on the case. The face-to-face confrontation will help clarify many facts,” added the official.
Patil is attached with the Protection of Civil Right (PCR) cell of the Maharashtra Police and is currently posted in Amravati.
Mangle had made public audio clippings claiming that the voice on the tape was that of Mopalwar in which he was purported to be discussing a financial deal. In August, the Maharashtra government sent Mopalwar, who was at the helm of the Rs 46,000-crore Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor project, on leave. The state, through a notification issued on August 29, constituted a three-member committee headed by former bureaucrat Johny Joseph to probe the case. The committee recently submitted a report giving a clean chit to Mopalwar.
According to the sources, Patil’s name cropped up during the interrogation of Mangle who allegedly told the AEC sleuths that it was Patil who introduced him to Mopalwar.
Meanwhile, even as the AEC awaits the forensic report on the voice samples sent to the Mumbai FSL to ascertain if the extortion calls made to Mopalwar was by criminal Ravi Pujari, the sources said they were confident the voice was of Pujari. “We also have details of the person who introduced Mangle to Pujari. We will soon summon him. At this point in time, we don’t want to make the name public as it would alert him. He is an important link to the case,” added the official.