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ED questions city developer

mumbai Updated: Apr 14, 2011 02:03 IST
Manish Pachouly
Manish Pachouly
Hindustan Times
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned Mumbai-based builder Yusuf Lakdawala on his links with Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan.

The questioning comes after controversy in the state assembly recently following the suspension of deputy commissioner of police Ashok Deshbhratar who had interrogated Khan after he was arrested in a fake passport case in 2008.

The state government had suspended Deshbhratar after a CID inquiry confirmed that he had doctored a CD containing a recording of Khan’s interrogation. In the CD, Khan was seen boasting of his links with top Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) politicians. Khan also spoke about a meeting where a decision was taken to appoint Hasan Gafoor as Mumbai’s police commissioner. It was alleged that the meeting had taken place during the wedding of Lakdawala’s daughter.

The Opposition had also alleged that the Mumbai police had arrested Khan from Lakdawala’s farmhouse in Madh Island and the government failed to take any action against the builder.

ED officials said Lakdawala arrived at the agency’s Nariman Point office at 3.30 pm along with his lawyer and another person from his legal team. ED officials questioned him till late evening. A senior official said the questioning was around Lakdawala’s association with Khan. “We wanted to question him on allegations of sheltering Khan even while the latter was wanted in a passport forgery case,” the official said.

The official added that though there is controversy over the CD, the agency wanted to question Lakdawala on the issue to ascertain his links with Khan. “We suspect Lakdawala has business ties with Khan and are investigating,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the ED also recorded the statement of industrialist RP Goenka of RPG Group in connection with his links with Khan and Kashinath Tapuriah. Goenka’s statement was recorded on April 4. A spokesperson from RPG Group in Kolkata refused to comment. Khan had recently alleged he had received threats from Goenka, which the industrialist had denied. ED questioned Goenka on Khan’s allegations among other things.

ED sources said Goenka’s statement had been made part of the status report submitted by the agency in the Supreme Court last Friday.