Maharashtra: Rashmi Shukla to skip summons, cites ‘pandemic work’ as reason

Mumbai: A day after summons were issued by the Mumbai Police's cyber cell to Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Rashmi Shukla, who is currently on central deputation to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), in connection with an FIR registered under the Official Secrets Act, the senior officer on Tuesday informed the cyber cell that she would not be able to travel to Mumbai to get her statement recorded citing Covid-19 as reasons and requested that a questionnaire be sent to her so that she could reply.

The BKC cyber police station has issued summons to the senior IPS officer to be present on April 28 informing her to get her statement recorded. The Mumbai police had recently registered an FIR under relevant sections of Indian Telegraph Act, and the Official Secrets Act against unknown person after confidential information of a report and a letter written by Shukla, while she was heading the Maharashtra state intelligence department, about the alleged transfer racket for money was leaked.

In an email sent to cyber cell, Shukla had stated that she had received a notice asking her to be present at her Mumbai residence on April 28 for her assistance in an inquiry of an FIR registered by the cyber cell. "However, I am currently holding the charge of Special Director General, South Zone, CRPF, in Hyderabad. Given the prevailing situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the serious nature of my responsibilities, keeping in mind the whole jurisdiction of the Southern Zone, it would not be possible for me to leave my office and travel to Mumbai at present."

"In spite of the above, in order to fully assist and cooperate with your investigation and avoid any delay, I would be able to swiftly provide answers to all your queries if submitted to me in the form of a questionnaire," Shukla had responded in her email. She also asked for the FIR copy along with the list of questions to which she would reply.

Former CM and the BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had alleged that the state government had suppressed the report of Shukla relating to transfers for cash in state police by agents. Few more officials from the state intelligence department are also likely to be questioned by the police.

In her letter written to then DGP Subodh Jaiswal in August 2020, Shukla had stated that "Upon the receipt of numerous complaints alleging that a 'network' of brokers had emerged, particularly individuals with firmly ingrained political connections are engaged in arranging desired postings for police officers in exchange for massive monetary compensation."

The letter had further stated, "It has been discovered that the 'brokers' are in close contact and embroiled in these negotiations with several influential people. The police officers ranging from inspectors to several high ranking IPS officers are in contact with such undesirable individuals."

Along with the letter, Shukla had submitted a detailed and factual report to the DGP and recommended a high-level inquiry and sought to bring the issue to the notice of the Chief Minister.

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