In another massive twist in the Antilia bomb scare case, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh claimed that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had ordered Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore per month from various businesses in Mumbai. The IPS officer, who was transferred as the Commandant General of Home Guards after Sachin Vaze was arrested by the NIA, sent a letter to Maharashtra CM making explosive allegations against the home minister. The copies of the letter were also sent to the deputy chief minister, additional chief secretary of the home ministry and the governor’s office.
The letter seems to be triggered by the comments of the home minister Anil Deshmukh on the issue, who on 18th March had said that Param Bir Singh’s transfer was not a routine transfer, and he was removed from the post as he had committed serious mistakes. Responding to these claims made by the home minister, Param Bir Singh has made several allegations against him.
CM was informed earlier
The former police commissioner has written that after the Antilia incident, he had pointed out to the CM several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged into by the Home Minister. “At one of the briefing sessions in the wake of the Antilia incident held in mid-March 2021 when I was called late evening at Varsha to brief you, I had pointed out several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged into by the Hon’ble Home Minister,” he wrote. He had also informed the same to the Deputy CM, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other senior ministers of the state about the misdeeds and malpractices.
Param Bir Singh also mentioned that that some of the Ministers were already aware about some aspects mentioned by him to them.
Fund collection drive of home minister
Param Bir Singh has written that Sachin Vaze was called by Anil to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds. He has written in the letter, “In and around mid-February and thereafter, the Hon’ble Home Minister had called Shri Vaze to his official residence. At that time, one or two staff members of the Hon’ble Home Minister including his Personal Secretary, Mr. Palande, were also present. The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crores a month.”
The home minister had even advised Vaze how to achieve this target of collecting Rs 100 crore per month. He had explained that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai, and if a sum of Rs. 2-3 lakhs each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs. 40-50 crore was achievable. Anil Deshmukh had said that the rest of the fund can be collected from ‘other sources’, according to Param Bir Singh. He adds that Sachin Vaze came to his office on the same day and informed about the instructions of the Home Minister, and says that he was shocked hearing this and was mulling how to deal with the situation.
After instructing Sachin Vaze, the home minister called ACP of Social Service Branch Sanjay Patil and DCP Bhujbal, and asked them to collect Rs 40-50 lakh per month from the approximately 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in the city. ACP Patil also informed the same to Param Bir Singh. This meeting took place on 4th March. On 16th March, Param Bir Singh messaged ACP Patil in order to get complete details on the meeting, and accordingly, Patil replied to him with the details. Param Bir Singh has included the transcripts of the messages in his letter. It shows that the home minister had estimated a collection of Rs 3 lakh per establishment per month to raise Rs 40 to Rs 50 lakh each month, and the same instructions were given to both API Sachin Vaze and ACP Sanjay Patil.
Param Bir Singh alleges that the home minister keeps calling police officers to his residence bypassing the police commissioner, and gives them instructions directly. Other than assigning official duties, Deshmukh also assigns them in fund collection drive.
Mohan Delkar death case
Param Bir Singh says that Anil Deshmukh also wanted to interfere in the case of suicide of Lok Sabha MP Mohan Delkar, to achieve political mileage. The MP from Dadra & Nagar Haveli was found dead on 22th February, and he had left a suicide note where he had alleged harassment by senior officers of the Dadra & Nagar Haveli administration as the cause of the suicide. According to Param Bir Singh, Anil Deshmukh wanted to register a case of abetment of case in Mumbai. But Singh was not convinced, as although the body of the MP was found in Mumbai, all the alleged harassment took place in Dadra & Nagar Haveli, hence he believed that the case should be registered there.
The Home Guards chief says that he held this professional view as advised by legal experts, but the home minister kept insisting to bring the case to Mumbai. “Due to my resistance, the Hon’ble Home Minister was unhappy with me as the political mileage desired to be derived from the registration of the abetment of suicide case in Mumbai in the death of Shri Mohan Delkar, Member of Parliament against senior officials of Dadra & Nagar Haveli was not being achieved,” the former commissioner writes.
Despite opposed by legal experts, the home minister had announced in Maharashtra assembly that a SIT will be formed and an FIR will be filed in the state for the Mohan Delkar death case.
Param Bir Singh writes that home minister Anil Deshmukh called police officers to give instructions several times, and adds that such political interferences are illegal and unconstitutional. “Courts in our country including the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India have in the past come down heavily on such acts of interference in police investigations,” he writes. The police officer further added that when he had objected to such interference and resisted to the same, Deshmukh had found his “reservations and resistance undesirable”.
Responsibility lies at the door of the wrongdoers
The former police commissioner also added that although he is responsible for his police force, he can’t take responsibility for the acts of the officers done on the behalf of the home minister. “the instances of interference make it clear that the responsibility of wrongdoings may lie somewhere else – at the door of the wrongdoers,” he writes. He makes it clear that he is not responsible for the Sachin Vaze, and Anil Deshmukh is responsible. This argument also seems to prove that the planting of bomb near Antilia was part of the fund collection drive of the home minister.
He says that he has been made a scapegoat to divert attention from the actual wrongdoers. He claims that no evidence has emerged against him, and the call records and phone data of Sachin Vaze prove his political connections.
The home minister has denied the allegations made by Param Bir Singh in the letter written to the CM. Anil Deshmukh said in a statement on Twitter, “The former Commissioner of Police, Parambir Singh has made false allegations in order to save himself as the involvement of Sachin Waze in Mukesh Ambani & Mansukh Hiren’s case is becoming clearer from the investigation carried out so far & threads are leading to Mr. Singh as well”. It may be noted that although the letter does not have any signature or seal, Anil Deshmukh’s comment confirms that it is genuine.
The full letter can be viewed below: