Updated: March 21, 2021 8:00:22 am
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 Saturday wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that state Home Minister Anil 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.
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.
“I have been made a scapegoat to divert attention from the actual wrongdoers. It is not out of place to mention that there is no iota of material or evidence — far from proof — found against me or even imputed against me,” Singh wrote to the CM.
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 allegations made by Singh are a conspiracy to defame me and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He has done these things to protect himself. If Waze met him in February and told him all these things, why did he keep quiet for so long? I will be holding a press conference tomorrow to clarify further doubts.”
In his letter to the CM, Singh also said that while the legal opinion on the suicide of MP Mohan Delkar in Mumbai was that the case should be handed over to Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Deshmukh kept insisting that the Mumbai police register an abetment to suicide FIR on the basis of Delkar’s suicide note naming the UT administrator and other officials so that he could use it for “political mileage”.
Detailing the “collection” allegation against Deshmukh, Singh wrote: “In and around mid-February and thereafter, the Hon’ble Home Minister had called Shri Vaze to his official residence… The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crores a month. For achieving the aforesaid target, the Hon’ble Home Minister told Shri Vaze that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs 2-3 lakhs each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crores was achievable. The Hon’ble Home Minister added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources.”
“Shri Vaze came to my office the same day and informed me… I was shocked with the above discussion and was mulling over how to deal with the situation… Shri (ACP Sanjay) Patil along with DCP Bhujbal were called at the official residence of the Hon’ble Home Minister for a meeting. While ACP Patil and DCP Bhujbal were made to wait outside the Hon’ble Home Minister’s cabin, Mr Palande (Minister’s PS) went inside the chamber of the Hon’ble Home Minister and after coming out took ACP Patil and DCP Bhujbal on the side. Mr Palande informed ACP Patil that the Hon’ble Home Minister was targeting a collection of Rs 40-50 crores which was possible through an approximate 1,750 bars, restaurants and establishments operating in Mumbai. I was informed by ACP Patil about the demand to make collections for the Hon’ble Home Minister,” he said.
“The aforesaid meeting at the official residence of the Hon’ble Home Minister with Shri Patil and Shri Bhujbal occurred on 4th March 2021 as informed to me by Shri Patil. In order to remind myself about the exact conversation that I had with ACP Patil, I messaged ACP Patil on 16th March 2021. Shri Patil has reconfirmed the aforesaid date and details to me on message on 16th March 2021 & 19th March 2021 and I am reproducing the text of my messages with ACP Patil,” Singh wrote, attaching a transcript of the messages exchanged.
Singh, transferred as the Commandant General of the state Home Guards, said that in mid-March, when he went to meet the CM at his bungalow Varsha to brief him on the Ambani security scare case, “I had pointed out several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged into by the Hon’ble Home Minister. I had similarly briefed the Deputy CM and NCP President Shri Sharad Pawar.”
Singh said that after the death of Dadra & Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar in Mumbai on February 22, the Marine Drive police registered an accidental death report. A suicide note found blamed senior officials of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and a probe was being done by the Marine Drive police station.
“However, from day one, the Hon’ble Home Minister desired a case of abetment to suicide to be registered at Mumbai. My professional view after seeking legal advice was that while the suicide had occurred in Mumbai, all the alleged facts of abetment had taken place in Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Thus, the abetment of suicide, if any, was required to be investigated by the police at Dadra & Nagar Haveli who would have jurisdiction in that regard,” he said.
Addressing the CM, he said: “You will recollect that in a meeting held at Varsha soon after the incident in the presence of a Hon’ble Minister and several other officials, after I drew attention of all concerned about my view, there was general agreement that the alleged acts of abetment could only be investigated by the police at Dadra & Nagar Haveli.”
“Due to my resistance, the Hon’ble Home Minister was unhappy with me as the political mileage desired to be derived from the registration of the abetment to suicide case in Mumbai in the death of Shri Mohan Delkar was not being achieved,” he said.
Referring to comments made by Deshmukh at an event on Friday where he said that Singh’s transfer was not routine but there were serious lapses committed by his office that were unpardonable, Singh said there was not an iota of evidence against him and that he was just made a scapegoat “to divert attention from the actual wrongdoers”.
“Except for conjectures, surmises and pure speculation, no detail of any sort against me has been noticed by anybody. The call records and phone data of Sachin Vaze be examined to ascertain the truth of the allegations qua me and for the truth to emerge insofar as his association with political functionaries is concerned,” he said.
Rejecting these allegations, Deshmukh, in a press release, said: “I will draw your attention to how Param Bir Singh is lying. Why did Singh keep quiet for so many days after Waze’s arrest? Why did he not say anything then? When Singh realized that he was going to be removed from the post of the Mumbai Police Commissioner on March 17, a day before on the 16th he chatted with ACP Patil on WhatsApp. He asked certain questions and got the required answers. This was part of the conspiracy.”
“On March 18, I went to a Lokmat event where I said that after serious allegations against Singh, he was taken off the post of the Commissioner. On March 19, again Singh tried to gather evidence through WhatsApp. In the police force, everyone knows that Waze and ACP Patil are close to Param Bir Singh… I am filing a defamation case against him.”
“Aware that he could land in trouble in the Ambani terror scare case, by making these false allegations, he is trying to blackmail the government. The terror scare incident and the death of Mansukh Hiran are serious incidents. This is a conspiracy by Singh to misguide the probe. The CM should conduct an independent probe into the allegations levelled against me by Singh,” he said.
ENS adds from New Delhi: The NIA has taken over the probe into the murder of Mansukh Hiran after it was handed over to them by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Hiran was found dead on March 5, days after it emerged that it was his vehicle which was found with explosive material outside the house of Mukesh Ambani.
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