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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Government permission to tap phones misused: NCP’s Awhad

Awhad said Shukla had misused her authority in tapping the phones and that there was a strong demand from the Maharashtra cabinet to pursue action against her.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: March 24, 2021 10:40:03 pm
Rashmi ShuklaThe NCP on Wednesday claimed that former Commissioner of State Intelligence Rashmi Shukla had indulged in phone tapping without the requisite clearances from the state administration (file)

The NCP on Wednesday claimed that former Commissioner of State Intelligence Rashmi Shukla had indulged in phone tapping without the requisite clearances from the state administration and was involved in a plot to discredit the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government.

The NCP also said it feared that Shukla may have illegally tapped the phones of several ministers in the MVA government.

“Permission was sought for tapping the phones of a certain set of people, however the numbers of a completely different set of people were tapped,” Housing Minister and senior NCP leader Jitendra Awhad said after a state cabinet meeting.

On Monday, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis in a press conference revealed details of a letter written by Shukla last August to the then DGP Subodh Jaiswal stating that her personnel had intercepted communications of several persons allegedly engaged in the postings of senior police officers in exchange for money.

Awhad said Shukla had misused her authority in tapping the phones and that there was a strong demand from the Maharashtra cabinet to pursue action against her.

“The government permission was misused. It was used as part of a conspiracy to defame the government. If two or three officials have done this, then there should be action against them,” Awhad said.

He added that the government was aware of the phone tapping episode, for which Shukla had apologised to both Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, pleading that no action be taken against her.

“Rashmi Shukla confessed and apologized. It was noticed that the phones of many ministers were being tapped. Phones of the entire cabinet may have been tapped. This was a plot to discredit the government,” Awhad said.

He went on to say that the permission for tapping phones was not given by former Home Secretary Sitaram Kunte, who is now the Chief Secretary of the state.

“Sitaram Kunte has not given this permission for tapping. After she wrote the letter, she had met the CM and HM and apologised to them. She was forgiven because this government had big-hearted people. We did not know that two months later she would play a part in the conspiracy against this government,” Awhad said.

He said the government should conduct an inquiry into how the permission for conducting these tappings was procured.

Shukla was unavailable for comment.

Shukla was transferred in September as the head of civil defence. She subsequently went on central deputation to the CRPF.

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