In an explosive development that has shaken the very foundations of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, tainted and suspended cop Sachin Vaze was reportedly instructed by Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to collect close to Rs. 100 crores every month from across various establishments in Mumbai. The revelation has reminded many of the days when ‘hafta vasooli’ in the financial capital of the country was the norm, and anyone not paying the same would have to prepare for grievous consequences. Intriguingly, the revelations to the same effect have been made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh, now DG – Home Guard has claimed that senior NCP leader and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had directed suspended API Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month for him from bars restaurants, other establishments. Param Bir Singh has further alleged that for achieving this target of Rs 100 crore per month, Anil Deshmukh told Sachin Vaze, “There are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs 2-3 lakh each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crores was achievable.”
“Sachin Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Shri Anil Deshmukh, Hon’ble Home Minister, Maharashtra to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in the collection of funds for the Hon’ble Home Minister,” Param Bir Singh claims in his letter. The top cop, who until recently was among the most important people in Maharashtra, has also stated in his letter that he apprised the chief minister and several other top ministers of the government of Vaze and Deshmukh’s alleged malpractices.
“At one of the briefing sessions in the wake of the Antilia incident held in mid-March when I was called late evening at Varsha to brief you (Uddhav Thackeray), I had pointed at several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged into by the Home Minister,” Singh wrote in the letter. Singh said that he had also briefed Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, other senior ministers, and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. While briefing the ministers, the former Mumbai top cop claimed to have noticed that some of them were already aware of some aspects mentioned by him.
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The letter by Param Bir Singh to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra came days after he was transferred from his previous post. His unscheduled transfer had raised many eyebrows, of the Antilia bomb scare in fact being the handiwork of top political leaders in the state. Responding to the grave allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh termed them to be “false” and an attempt by the top cop to save himself.”Param Bir Singh has made these false allegations to save himself as well as to protect himself from further legal actions,” Anil Deshmukh said in a tweet.
Anil Deshmukh is somehow being turned into a scapegoat for what seems to be a larger conspiracy being hatched in Maharashtra. It is not possible that Deshmukh would go to such lengths on his own accord. Central agencies must immediately flow down to Mumbai and investigate the startling claims made by Param Bir Singh against the MVA government.