Karnataka-Maharashtra border row: Sanjay Raut calls for all-party visit to Belgaum
Karnataka-Maharashtra border row: Sanjay Raut calls for all-party visit to Belgaum
PTI Photo

Amidst the ongoing political crisis after the accusations made by IPS officer Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut today shared a poetic tweet without naming anyone.

Raut posted a four-lines written by Javed Akhtar and wrote, "Hum ko tto bas talaash naye raaston ki hai / hum hai musafir aise hai jo manzil say aaye hain (We are looking for new paths, we are travellers who are returning from the destination)."

Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh on Saturday claimed that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect at least Rs 100 crore from city bars and hotels every month, a charge which Deshmukh denied.

The senior IPS officer, who was transferred to the low-key Home Guards on March 17 following the arrest of police officer Sachin Vaze in the case related to the bomb scare near Mukesh Ambani's house Antilia, said he was made a scapegoat.

Responding to the letter, Deshmukh, NCP leader from the Vidarbha region, said Singh was hurling false accusations "to save his skin" in the Vaze case, adding he will file a defamation case against the former Mumbai police chief.

In the eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh alleged that Deshmukh used to call police officers to his official residence and give them a "collection target" from bars, restaurants and other establishments.

The Chief Minister's Office, in a late-night release, said Singh's "unsigned letter to Thackeray" was not sent from his official email ID and efforts were on to contact him to verify it.

In the letter, Singh claimed that Vaze, who headed Mumbai police Crime Intelligence Unit, was called by Deshmukh many times in the last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in the collection of the funds.

The IPS officer claimed that the minister told Waze that he had set a target of collecting Rs 100 crore a month, half of it from nearly 1,750 bars, restaurants and similar establishments operating in the city.

Singh also claimed that Deshmukh "from day one" wanted a case of abutment of suicide to be registered in Mumbai after the death of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar in a Mumbai hotel last month.

"A collective appraisal of events that have transpired and what is being pointed out by me makes it clear that I have been made a scapegoat to divert attention from the actual wrongdoers," Singh's eight-page letter said.

The minister rejected Singh's allegations, claiming that the former Mumbai police chief was trying to save himself from further action with false claims.

"In the Mukesh Ambani case and the Mansukh Hiran death case, Sachin Vaze's involvement was established and the trail was to reach Param Bir Singh. It is due to this possibility that these allegations have been levelled," Deshmukh said.

On Thursday, a day after Param Bir Singh was shunted out, Deshmukh had said he was transferred after some of his colleagues committed "serious and unforgivable mistakes".

BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis sought Deshmukh's resignation over the claims made by the IPS officer.

"We demand the home minister's resignation. If he doesn't, then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray must remove him.

An impartial probe must be conducted. The letter also says the chief minister was informed about this earlier, so why didn't he act on it?" Fadnavis, Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, told reporters.

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said, "Param Bir Singhs letter has now exposed the extortionist in the MVA government.

API Sachin Vaze was working as Deshmukh's collection man. He should be sacked as home minister."

Sources in the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress state government said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar are yet to take a call on replacing the home minister in the backdrop of the latest controversy.

Assistant police inspector Vaze was recently arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) during its probe into the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV near Ambani's house on February 25.

Vaze, an "encounter specialist", has also been facing heat in the murder case of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of that SUV. Hiran was found dead in a creek in Thane district on March 5. The NIA has taken over the Hiran death case.

(With inputs from PTI)

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