Mumbai: Days after his retirement, the former chief secretary and newly appointed principal adviser to CM Uddhav Thackeray, Sitaram Kunte appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday and recorded his statement in connection with the ongoing money laundering probe against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. Kunte, who had earlier received two summons from the ED, could not record his statements citing prior engagements. He reached the ED’s office after 11am and left at 5.20pm, having recording his statement for more than six hours.
“The ED had called me to get some information in connection with the Anil Deshmukh case. Accordingly, I have provided the information to them,” Kunte said while leaving the ED office.
When asked whether the ED wanted to know about the alleged irregularities in police transfers in the state, Kunte said, “Yes, it was about the same.”
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that alleged that Deshmukh had directed dismissed policeman Sachin Waze to extort over ₹100 crore per month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Informed sources told The Free Press Journal, “Kunte, in his statement, has referred to the five-page report submitted by him to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March, in which he had refuted the allegations made by the leader of the opposition Devendra Fadnavis, claiming corruption in the transfer of police officers. The report contended that no transfers were done during the period in which IPS officer Rashmi Shukla had tapped phones and submitted her report. In 2020, except in a few cases, all transfers were done on the recommendation of the police establishment board.”
Kunte’s five-page report further made a stunning revelation that after Rashmi Shukla misused the provisions of the Indian Telegram Act while tapping the phones and ‘misguiding the government’, she had apologised to the CM, HM and the chief secretary.
He recorded his statement at the ED office on Tuesday after the agency had recently recorded the statement of suspended Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in connection with its money-laundering probe into alleged irregularities in the Maharashtra police establishment. Singh had accused Deshmukh of corruption and other irregularities when the latter was home minister.
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