A day after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh moved the Supreme Court, seeking a CBI probe into charges of corruption against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the state BJP also made a capital dash. In its latest attempt to corner the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis alleged there were malpractices in police transfers in the state. “I have given all the information and evidence of the Maharashtra Police transfer racket in a sealed envelope to the Union Home Secretary in New Delhi and demanded a CBI probe. They have assured an appropriate decision after going through it,” Fadnavis said.
Fadnavis was referring to a report by the former additional director general of police (intelligence), Rashmi Shukla, which alleged that there were malpractices in top police transfers. “An intelligence report dated August 25, 2020, was submitted to the then DGP and in turn, the DGP, the very next day, forwarded it to ACS Home for appropriate further action. I have the 6.3 GB data and all the transcripts which were given to the chief minister. But this MVA Government did not take any action on these severe and sensitive allegations. Instead, they transferred Shukla,” he said. While Fadnavis shared the cover letters of Shukla and former DGP Subodh Jaiswal, he did not share the transcript contained in the 6.3 GB data.
The former CM added, “All officials mentioned in these transcripts got the same postings.” He also alleged that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s silence on the matter was a deafening cover-up.
“When the DGP (Subodh Jaiswal) inquired about the report, he got to know that it was sent to the Home Minister. No action was taken against the people involved but there was action taken against Rashmi Shukla, who prepared the report. Her promotion was delayed and she was transferred to a post that did not even exist,” he stated.
He further claimed that the MVA government in the state had not acted on an “incriminating” state intelligence department report containing audio excerpts of large-scale corruption in police transfers and postings.
Fadnavis recalled that when he was chief minister of state, a tip-off was received in 2017 by some police officers about a meeting underway in a hotel regarding the transfer of their ilk. “It was part of a racket and completely illegal, hence a raid was conducted and arrests were made,” said Fadnavis, who had held the home portfolio when he was chief minister.
Pawar not briefed properly: Further, Fadnavis said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar was not briefed properly on Deshmukh’s whereabouts after he was tested Covid-positive. As per police records of VIP movement, Anil Deshmukh went to Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai on February 17 and to Mantralaya on February 24.
“Deshmukh was in home quarantine from February 15-27 but met officers and was not in isolation. I feel Pawar Saaheb was not briefed properly yesterday (on Monday),” Fadnavis said.
Pawar had told reporters on Monday that Deshmukh had been recuperating from Covid in the period that former Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh claimed the home minister had been indulging in ‘extortion activities’ through police officers.