Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh came in a mess the day he decided to move former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh for his inefficiency to deal with his post. It was humiliating because media houses already damaged Singh’s image to the core and above all his transfer was confirmation of those allegations made against him.
Deshmukh has claimed that all the allegations levelled against him by Singh are false and a conspiracy to defame the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Deshmukh said that he would be suing Param Bir Singh for defamation. Deshmukh questioned why Param Bir was silent all this while if he came to know from his juniors that he had allegedly as the Home Minister asked for extorting money then why did Param Bir stay quiet for so long.
But so far Anil Deshmukh has failed to file defamation. Deshmukh also questioned why Param Bir did not speak up after Vaze got arrested. “Why did Param Bir Singh stay quiet for so long after Vaze got arrested. Why didn’t he open his mouth then? Referring to the chats that have been attached by Param Bir Singh with his junior officer to prove his claim that the Home Minister had demanded extortion money, Deshmukh said that the chats pertain to March 16 by which Param Bir came to know that he would be shunted out and hence he had those chats as part of a scheme.
Deshmukh alleged that ACP Sanjay Patil and Sachin Vaze were brought into the service by Param Bir Singh himself and were close to him. Akola police had filed a Zero FIR (mode of lodging FIR in any police station irrespective of the offence committed in that area or any other area) at the Kotwali police station and it was later transferred to the Thane city police for investigation.
Meanwhile, the above subject is under investigation and let’s see whatever the outcome is, but we all know that Param Bir Singh doesn’t have a good image as a top cop. Three businessmen had earlier filed a complaint against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and accused him of corruption and extortion.
Sonu Jalan, Ketan Manshukhlal Tanna and Munir Ahmed Pathan alleged that crores were extorted from them by Param Bir Singh when he was the Thane Police Commissioner. Param Bir Singh, who was removed from the post of the Mumbai Police Commissioner after a bomb was found outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence, had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had asked Sachin Vaze – an accused in the case – to extort Rs 100 crore per month, after which CBI filed an FIR against Anil Deshmukh.
Inspector Ghadge, in his complaint, had made a series of allegations of corruption against Singh and other officers, during the period when the former Mumbai commissioner was posted in adjoining Thane city. Ghadge, who was posted in the Thane police commissionerate from 2015 to 2018, has alleged that during his tenure, several officers there under Singh had indulged in various acts of corruption.
He has claimed that Singh, as the Thane city police chief, had allegedly asked him not to charge-sheet certain individuals against whom FIRs had been registered. Ghadge has also alleged that after he refused to obey Singh’s instructions, five FIRs were registered against him and he was suspended. Meanwhile, Jalan, who has accused Singh and some other policemen of extortion, appeared before CID officials for the third time.
In the weeks Singh dragged his corruption allegations against Anil Deshmukh to court, winning a CBI investigation against him and forcing his resignation as state home minister, the home department and the police have started conducting several probes against the former Mumbai Police commissioner.
An official from the department said, “Since several accused persons have been named in the FIR, it would require more than a single investigating officer. Based on the request of the Thane Police that more officers would be needed to probe the matter, the FIR was transferred to the state CID.”
After the case was moved to the CID last week, Navi Mumbai SP Maruti Jagtap issued a summons to Ghadge, asking him to appear before him on Wednesday. An officer said that the case papers have already been transferred to the CID.
Singh had petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking that the FIR registered against him at the behest of Ghadge be quashed. Last week, the HC had granted Singh protection from arrest till the next hearing on coming Thursday. The state government is likely to file its response to Singh’s petition before the matter comes up for hearing.
In his complaint, Ghadge had alleged that as Thane Police commissioner, Singh had allegedly collected money from his juniors to give them their preferred postings. He had further alleged that Singh interfered in cases under investigation and had asked Ghadge to not take action against a particular person named in one case. He also alleged that when he refused to do so, FIRs were registered against him under various pretexts.
The IPS officer was a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in Mumbai in the 1990s when the so-called underworld was the most active in the city, led by the likes of Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Arun Gawli and Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan. As illustrious as Singh’s career has been so far, it is also strewn with controversies.
One of the most talked-about controversies involving Singh centres on statements he made at an August 2018 press conference with regard to suspects in the Elgar Parishad case. He was additional director general of police (law and order) at the time, and Maharashtra Police was under fire for the arrest of activists and lawyers in connection with the investigation.
In December last year, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), under Singh at the time, filed an affidavit before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court gave a clean chit to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in connection with the multi-crore irrigation scam. This affidavit marked a complete U-turn from the one that the ACB had filed in November 2018, under Singh’s predecessor Sanjay Barve, who had stopped the buck at Pawar.
When Singh was chosen for the Mumbai Police top job, there was much speculation that the NCP, which has the home portfolio, had favoured him. In 2008, as additional commissioner of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, Singh had supervised the arrest of Malegaon bomb blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur, who has since alleged torture at the hands of some officers, including Singh.
The same year, Singh clashed with former Mumbai Police chief Hasan Gafoor in the aftermath of the 26/11 attack. In an interview to The Week magazine, Gafoor named four officers, including Singh, as having dithered in responding to the situation during the terror attack. Singh’s father, Hoshiar Singh, a former civil servant, filed a defamation case against Gafoor for his remarks. Gafoor passed away in 2012.
However, head constable Jadhav, who was in the same car as Salaskar and top IPS officers Hemant Karkare and Ashok Kamte the night Ajmal Kasab killed them, only remembers one thing about Singh from that night. Jadhav had sustained bullet injuries in the attack that killed Karkare, Salaskar and Kamte.
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