Despite the serious allegations against Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) Assistant Commissioner Mahesh Aher, the civic official goes scot-free as he has the backing of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, said social activist Yogesh Mundhara.
His charge was seconded by Thane city Congress president Vikrant Chavan who said that Aher is yet to face the music even after the assurance from Industries Minister Uday Samant. TMC's Additional Commissioner Sandeep Malvi confirmed that Aher has not yet been suspended.
Assistant Commissioner accused of threatening leaders
The civic official, who is at the helm of affairs at the Anti-Encroachment Department, has been accused of threatening political leaders and indulging in corruption. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, recently, NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad had said that Aher had threatened him and his family. Chavan had also levelled similar charges against the civic official.
As the controversy gathered steam, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced a probe headed by the Crime Investigation Department. Subsequently, Samant had assured that Aher will soon be relieved from his post. However, words are yet to materialise into action.
Police is yet to confirm the voice clip is Aher's
After the audio clip in which Aher purportedly is heard threatening Awhad and his family, the MLA's wife and daughter lodged a complaint at the Vartak Nagar police station. A month on, the police are yet to ascertain if the voice in the clip is that of Aher's. The civic official was summoned thrice by the police to record his statement. There is strong buzz that Aher enjoys the CM's patronage as Shinde and Awhad have been political rivals for the past several years.
Talking to The FPJ, Chavan said, “Even after giving so much evidence to the police regarding Aher's audio clip, he is roaming free. In the Assembly, too, Awhad and other leaders raised the issue, after which Uday Samant assured that Aher will be soon relieved from all the official charges but he is still sitting in his office.”
According to a social activist, the biggest reason is that he is Eknath Shinde's close aide
The Congressman said that the civic official's educational documents are fake. “He is just 10th standard pass but holds the post of Assistant Commissioner in the TMC. He has hired four private bouncers for him. We want to know who pays those bouncers. The TMC officials should take strict action against him on a priority basis and also the police should arrest him soon,” Chavan added.
Social activist Mundhara said, “The biggest reason for inaction against Aher is that he is the close aide of the Chief Minister and Shinde Sena spokesman Naresh Mhaske. TMC chief Abhijit Bangar is acting like a puppet of the CM. He should immediately take action against Aher. There are many charges of alleged corruption against him in the last 4-5 years. Fadnavis had promised a CID inquiry, but no concrete action has been taken yet.”
Open to any investigation, says Aher
Vikas Ghodke, senior police inspector of Crime Branch Unit-5 said, “Recently, we called him for interrogation as a part of the investigation. We have asked him to provide us with his educational qualifications documents.”
When contacted by The FPJ, Aher said, “I am out of the station and can't say anything. But I am open to any investigation.”
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