Mumbai: Phones of Sanjay Raut & Eknath Khadse tapped to prove they were anti-social elements, say cops

Patole’s phone was tapped under the name 'Amjad Khan', Kadu’s as 'Nijamuddin Babu Shaikh', Deshmukh as 'Raghu Chorge' and 'Hina Salunkhe' and all three were alleged to be involved in 'narcotics smuggling' & Kakade’s phone was tapped under the names 'Tabrej Sutar' and 'Abhijit Nayar'

Sanjay JogUpdated:Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 11:34 PM IST
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  • Mumbai police launched probe into an illegal phone tapping case registered against senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla under the Telegraph Act

  • Our privacy was breached. Centre giving protection to such police officers (IPS Rashmi Shukla) who are working for one party, claims Raut

  • Patole’s phone was tapped under the name 'Amjad Khan', Kadu’s as 'Nijamuddin Babu Shaikh', Deshmukh as 'Raghu Chorge' and 'Hina Salunkhe' and all three were alleged to be involved in 'narcotics smuggling' & Kakade’s phone was tapped under the names 'Tabrej Sutar' and 'Abhijit Nayar'

  • Another FIR also lodged in Pune against Shukla for illegal phone surveillance

Launching a probe into the illegal phone-tapping case registered against senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla under the Telegraph Act, the Mumbai police said on Wednesday that the mobiles of Shiv Sena MP and leader Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse were tapped tapped on the pretext of them being 'anti-social elements.'

A case has been registered against Shukla for illegally tapping the phones of Raut and Khadse when she was in charge of the state intelligence department (SID).

During the investigation, it was revealed that some other names were also cited as ‘anti-social elements’ in the SID letter which was sent to the additional chief secretary (ACS), Home, for phone-tapping, which was the reason that the ACS permitted the same, Mumbai Police said. As reported by The Free Press Journal, police have said that the phone of Khadse (who left the BJP to join the NCP in October 2020, blaming former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for ruining his political career), was tapped for 67 days and while that of Raut for 60 days.

Raut said both leaders were falsely labelled by the then SID Commissioner Rashmi Shukla. “The then SID commissioner Rashmi Shukla falsely labelled all of us whose phones were tapped as anti-social elements during government formation in 2019,” he added.

“Our privacy was breached. The Centre is protecting such police officers who are working for a party,” said Raut.

Raut and Khadse recently recorded their statements in connection with the illegal phone-tapping case against Shukla. Two FIRs, one each in Mumbai and Pune, have been lodged against Shukla, who is presently on Central deputation and posted as Additional Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Hyderabad.

Moreover, the phones of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole, MLA The phones of Bacchu Kadu (who is currently the minister of state for education), BJP leader and former MP Sanjay Kakade and former BJP legislator Ashish Deshmukh too were illegally tapped for 60 days between 2016 and 2018. This was revealed as per the First information report (FIR) against Shukla, filed at the Bundgarden police station in Pune.

Patole’s phone was tapped under the name ‘Amjad Khan’, Kadu’s as ‘Nijamuddin Babu Shaikh’, Deshmukh’s name was tapped under the names ‘Raghu Chorge’ and ‘Hina Salunkhe’ and all three were alleged to be involved in ‘narcotics smuggling’. Kakade’s phone was tapped under the names ‘Tabrej Sutar’ and ‘Abhijit Nayar’ and he was alleged to be a member of the dreaded Bapu Nayar gang.

Taking serious note of the claims by Patole about his phone being tapped illegally, the state home minister, Dilip Walse Patil, had announced a probe by a three-member committee, headed by the state director general of police, into the alleged illegal phone tapping between 2015 and 2019. The committee found that Shukla had tapped the phones by violating the permission she had sought, which the committee observed was illegal.

The committee also observed that Shukla did not follow rules and guidelines laid down by the Central government on phone surveillance.

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