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Minister's name figures in Chhota Rajan, aide talks

Rao allegedly paid money to state home ministry officials to reinstate 12 policemen suspended in connection with a case relating to Rajan gang.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 23:17 IST

The name of Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Sidhram Mhetre reportedly figured in a conversation tapped by police purportedly between underworld don Chhota Rajan and his aide DK Rao.

Rao allegedly paid money to state home ministry officials to reinstate 12 policemen suspended in connection with a case relating to Rajan gang.

Mhetre, however, said he had "no connection whatsoever" with the postings of officials as mentioned in the conversation between Rao and Chhota Rajan.

Rao was recently booked under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA),

As per the transcripts of the conversation presented by Mumbai crime branch in a court, Rao allegedly struck a deal of Rs 5 lakh with some Home Department officials to reinstate at least 12 officials who were suspended in a case related to the Rajan gang, the conversation says.

The conversation took place when Rao was in Central Prison at Arthur Road serving a 10-year jail term and was in illegal possession of a mobilephone, Mumbai Crime Branch claimed.

Mumbai Crime Brach presented the transcript of the conversation as an evidence of Rao's alleged nefarious activities in the chargesheet filed under MCOCA against him.

In his conversation with Rajan on September 26 last year, Rao informed his boss about the payment of Rs 5 lakh he made to the home department officials to get the 12 police officials reinstated.

These officials were suspended in "OP" affair, he adds, apparently hinting at the murder of Rajan gangster OP Singh by own gang members inside the Nasik jail in 2003.

Rao in the conversation claims that the reinstated officials were of the ranks of superintendents and senior inspectors.

Rao's cellphone was kept under surveillance between September and November 2005, after which he was booked under MCOCA.

"I am not aware of any such incident nor am I involved in any such incident," the minister told reporters when asked to comment on the name of Siaram Mhetre appearing in the transcripts of the conversation.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 23:17 IST