Mumbai: Param Bir Singh, 5 cops booked on for extortion and criminal conspiracy
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In fresh trouble for former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who is currently the director general of home guards, an offence of extortion has been registered against him by Marine Drive police on the complaint of a developer from Mira-Bhayandar on Thursday. The developer, who has multiple criminal cases registered against him, has claimed that several crores of rupees have been extorted from him over several years for multiple reasons including not arresting him in an extortion case in which stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) was also pressed. The developer has also named five other police officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Akbar Pathan and police officers Sanjay Patil, Shreekant Shinde, Nandakumar Gopale and Asha Kokare.

The FIR, which was registered at Marine Drive police station also names two other accused, Sanjay Punamiya and Sunil Jain, who were arrested by Marine Drive Police. Punamiya and Jain have been remanded to police custody for seven days.

The offence was registered under relevant Indian Penal Code sections for extortion, criminal breach of trust by public servant, dishonest misappropriation of property, cheating and forgery along with criminal conspiracy. Mumbai Police spokesperson S Chaitanya confirmed the registration of a FIR and said, “We have arrested two accused so far in the case.”

According to the complainant Shyam Agrawal, 57, his former partner Punamiya was a ‘close aide’ of Param Bir Singh, and had extorted several crores from him and also had allegedly taken possession of his properties. Agrawal has gone on to state that on February 17, 2021, an offence of threatening and extortion was registered against him on the basis of a complaint given by Punamiya, who allegedly received threat calls from underworld gangster Chhota Shakeel at the behest of Agrawal from November 2016 to December 2020. On March 1, MCOCA was applied in the case.

Later, on March 5, PI Gopale raided his house and office at Mira-Bhayandar while PI Kokare raided his house at Vile Parle. Agrawal has claimed that during the raid, Gopale contacted Pathan in his presence and demanded Rs 50 lakh for not arresting him. Agrawal has also claimed that Kokare sent a photograph of a 10-rupee note to his nephew Sharad and told him to give the money to the person who would be carrying the same 10-rupee note. Agarwal claims that his relatives gave the money and he was not arrested in the case.

Agarwal further claims that he had paid over Rs 15 crore to Punamiya to stop MCOCA proceedings, Punamiya had extorted money from him in the name of other officers as well, alleged Agrawal in his statement to the police.

Gopale denied all allegations and said, “He is an accused in a case and is making false allegations. The case registered against him has not been proved to be false. Truth will prevail.”

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