Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who was recently transferred from the top post, has alleged that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had asked suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore for him every month.
Making this allegation in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh elaborated on it, saying that Anil Deshmukh would call Sachin Vaze to his official residence “several times” over the past few months and “repeatedly instructed” him to “assist in (the) collection of funds” for him.
“Sachin Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Shri Anil Deshmukh, Hon’ble Home Minister, Maharashtra to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in (the) collection of funds for the Hon’ble Home Minister,” Param Bir Singh claims in his letter.
Singh wrote, “In and around mid-February and thereafter, the Hon’ble Home Minister had called Shri Vaze to his official residence. At that time, one or two staff members of the Hon’ble Home Minister, including his Personal Secretary, Mr Palande, were also present. The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crores a month.”
Param Bir Singh has further alleged that Anil Deshmukh told Sachin Vaze that there were “about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs 2-3 lakh each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crores was achievable” — for achieving what looks like an impossible monthly target.
“The Hon’ble Home Minister [Anil Deshmukh] added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources,” the letter alleges.
Anil Deshmukh denies charge
Responding to the grave allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has termed them to be “false” and an attempt by the top cop to save himself.
“Param Bir Singh has made these false allegations to save himself as well as to protect himself from further legal actions,” Anil Deshmukh said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Anil Deshmukh said, involvement of Sachin Vaje in the Antilia bomb scare case and the Mansukh Hiren murder case is “becoming clear”.
“Its threads are likely to reach the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The investigation is underway,” Anil Deshmukh wrote.
It all started on 25 February when an explosives-laden SUV was found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai house Antilia. The explosives comprised 20 unassembled gelatin sticks. Besides this, police also found a threat letter issued to the Ambanis.
As the investigation in this case started, police found that the SUV in question was in possession of a Thane-based businessman named Mansukh Hiren.
When asked about the SUV, Mansukh Hiren told the cops that his car was stolen and that he had filed a police complaint about it.
On 5 March, Mansukh Hiren was found dead on the banks of a creek in Mumbra on the outskirts of Thane.
His wife has alleged that he was murdered by Mumbai Police Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze.
Sachin Vaze’s role has also come under the radar for his alleged involvement in staging the bomb scare outside Mukesh Ambani’s house.
Raising these issues in the Maharashtra Assembly, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis revealed that Sachin Vaze had been in constant touch with Mansukh Hiren.
As the controversy escalated, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the investigation and arrested Sachin Vaze on March 12. He was also suspended soon after.
But things did not stop here. Two days ago, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government transferred Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Asked about the decision, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said it was because of some inexcusable lapse in security, among other reasons.
Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP has been demanding Anil Deshmukh’s resignation and has said he can’t escape responsibility for all that has happened.