Updated: March 21, 2021 9:19:09 pm
Despite a Covid-19 lockdown in Nagpur, the Bharatiya Janata Party Sunday launched a protest in the city against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who has been accused of corruption and police interference.
The corruption allegations, mentioned in a letter written by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, sparked statewide protests by the saffron party, which has called for the state Home Minister’s immediate resignation. Similar protests broke out in Mumbai earlier today.
Nagpur: Bharatiya Janata Party holds protest against Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh
COVID19 restrictions have been imposed in the city amid rising cases. pic.twitter.com/jcHRm3rnkc
— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2021
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too teared into the Sachin Waze episode and called for a “fair and impartial probe by an outside agency”, news agency PTI reported. Prasad expressed astonishment over Waze, “a mere assistant inspector”, being defended inside and outside the assembly by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. He also questioned the “silence” of NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the case though his party colleague and home minister Anil Deshmukh has been accused of asking the policeman to “extort Rs 100 crore from dance bars etc. every month”.
“The Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra has been formed with an intention to loot and not to govern. The BJP is going to raise this issue very strongly and will soon hit the streets,” Prasad declared at a press conference at the party office in Patna.
In Nagpur, the protest by the BJP takes place just one day after restrictions were extended in the city till the end of the month in view of a recent surge in coronavirus cases. A complete lockdown has been imposed from March 15th, until the 21st. Only essential services such as fruit and vegetable shops and milk booths are allowed to remain open amid the lockdown, as per the orders issued by the Nagpur district administration.
Meanwhile, police forces have been deployed outside Deshmukh’s residence in the city.
Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party holdd protest against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, demand his resignation pic.twitter.com/obIM0LlFrL
— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2021
In a letter to the Chief Minister sent three days after he was removed as Mumbai Police Commissioner and posted to the Home Guards in the wake of the Ambani house bomb scare case, Param Bir Singh alleged that Deshmukh had asked Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, later arrested by the NIA in the bomb scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from some 1750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
He claimed that Deshmukh summoned Waze to his official residence “several times in the last few months and repeatedly asked to assist in collection of funds” for him.
Responding to these charges, Deshmukh told The Sunday Express that Singh had made false allegations against him to save himself in the bomb scare case.
The explosive contents of the eight-page letter to the Chief Minister, in which Singh attacks Deshmukh, are not linked to the Antilia security case, but he suggests at the end of the letter that he had to pay the price for resisting the Home Minister’s “interference” in the work of the Mumbai police force.
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