"There were attempts to implicate me in a sting operation. The so-called scam was sponsored by disgruntled elements from within the police," Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil told HT on Tuesday, in an exclusive interview, talking about his two years stint in the government heading the controversial home department.
The DF government completed its two-year in power on November 1. Patil, who was speaking to HT at his official residence Chitrakut, said that his clean-up operation in the department in the last two years had made him many enemies even within the police force and there were efforts to scuttle the drive.
Referring to recent speculations over him losing home department after the blasts, Patil said that "rumours and speculations were being spread by disgruntled police officials and Naphtha (an intermediate product between gasoline and kerosene used to adulterate petrol and even evade sales tax) lobby and others."
"A police inspector even organized a special puja to get me out of the home ministers chair," smiled Patil.
When asked whether others referred to people in his party NCP, Patil shrugged off the question.
When diminutive Patil inherited home department from his party colleague Chhagan Bhujbal, the department was still fighting off its worse scam. The Telgi scam had embroiled some of the biggest names in the police department including Mumbai police commissioner RS Sharma.
In the last two years, Patil known popularly for his dance bar ban, had initiated many clean up drives in his department including the widespread petroleum adulteration scam in the state, inviting ire of the Naptha lobby.
"I don’t want to give you figures but we have suspended and even dismissed a record number of police officials to send right signals to the force. I have been particular about the recruitment policy (suspending all who were tainted officers here) and the transfer policy. The police cadre has started believing in the system once again,’’ he added.
In a fierce defence of the blasts investigations, Patil said that he was sure that the investigations would lead to a definite conviction because the police have very "strong evidence".
He added that the leads in the Malegaon case had once again clearly established the motives of the blasts as "communal disharmony".
"I have seen the investigations closely. It was not just Mumbai police but the Central agencies and Intelligence Bureau jointly probed and succeeded. The way the case was cracked can become a case study for police detectives world over," he stressed.
The home department will also dash off a proposal to the center seeking a fast track court for the blasts case to ensure judgement within a time bound period.
He admitted that the current 12 per cent conviction rate in the state was dismal and there was a need to re-look at many of the redundant laws and Acts relating to policing.
"We will send our proposals seeking changes in these laws and our recommendations to the Center. There is a need for reforms and we have initiated many even as we start implementing the Mc Kinsey report,’’ said Patil.