Param Bir Singh alleges Deshmukh asked Vaze to extort ₹100 cr; minister denies
Some reports claimed that Param Bir Singh wrote to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that Deshmukh asked Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crore from various establishments in Mumbai. The state home minister said Singh is trying to save himself.
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Saturday rubbished the allegations of extortion made by Param Bir Singh, who was recently removed as the Mumbai police commissioner over alleged mishandling of a bomb scare case near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence. Deshmukh said that the former Mumbai top cop is trying to save himself.
"When it is getting clear that he was involved in Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case as well as in the case of Mansukh Hiran's death and there are possibilities of him getting exposed, the former police commissioner Param Bir Singh made false allegations against me to save himself from further legal action," according to a rough translation of Deshmukh's tweet posted in Marathi.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader said in other tweets that investigations are underway in these cases.
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Deshmukh's party is one of the constituents of the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance. The Shiv Sena and Congress are the other two.
His reaction comes after some reports claimed that Singh wrote to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that Deshmukh asked Sachin Vaze - a suspended policeman who has been arrested in connection with the case - to collect ₹100 crore from various establishments in Mumbai. The bomb scare case is being handled by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The reports also said that Singh marked a copy of the letter to Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Union home ministry.
Deshmukh's reaction is in stark contrast with Sena's stand, which defended Singh saying his transfer did not make him a criminal, and alleged a "particular lobby in Delhi" was upset with him as the TRP scam came to light during his tenure.
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On Wednesday, Singh was replaced by Hemant Nagrale. On Thursday, Deshmukh, who belongs to the NCP, told reporters that a few officers from Mumbai Police has committed “serious and unpardonable mistakes” that had come to light in the preliminary inquiry in the bomb scare case, and that Singh’s transfer was not “routine”.
Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier defended Vaze, arrested by the NIA on March 13, for his role in the explosives-laden SUV parked outside Antilia, Ambani’s residence, on February 25.
The strain in the MVA was highlighted by the Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, who said such contradictory statements would further damage the image of the government.
The NIA, meanwhile, also took over the probe into the death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran. His body was found in a Thane creek on March 5, days after the explosives-laden SUV was found parked outside Antilia.
The SUV was in possession of Hiran. Earlier, the Maharashtra ATS was investigating the case.