INDIA.Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday demanded an inquiry by the Central Government into the Ambani bomb scare case and also demanded that the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh should resign immediately.
Addressing media Raj Thackeray said that the Central Government should find out on whose instructions an explosive (gelatine sticks) laden car was placed outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence “Antillia” in South Mumbai on February 25. The security outside Antillia is so tight that such misadventure only the police could do.
The theory that the vehicle was placed to extort money from Ambani was wrong since Maharashtra Chief Uddhav Thackeray and Mukesh Ambani share very cordial relations. The note recovered from the car had a “Gujarati tone”. The letter also refers to the Ambani family members as “Mukesh Bhaiyya” and “Nita Bhabhi”. Besides the summing up of the letter is in crude English language. The letter ends with the note “this is a warning and next time the gelatine sticks will be connected to explode, “Good Nite”. The terrorists will not use such language, Raj Thackeray said.
Thackeray said that the incident has sullied the fair image of Mumbai police who was once compared to the Scotland Yard Police. Now to find out on whose instructions the explosive-laden vehicle was placed is of utmost importance.
Also, it should be made clear who helped Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to join the Shiv Sena when he was suspended nearly 16 years earlier. Vaze and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have close relations, Raj Thackeray claimed.
“Besides, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh was transferred as DG, Home Guards soon after Vaze, heading Central Intelligence unit of Mumbai police was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on March 13. The Maharashtra Government should have inquired whether Singh was part of a conspiracy of parking an explosive-laden vehicle. Why he was transferred out on March 17, is a billion-dollar question” Raj Thackeray asked.
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (purportedly sent through his email) on Saturday, Param Bir Singh alleged that in earlier meetings, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had expressed to Vaze that he had a target to collect Rs. 100 crore a month. There are 1,750 bars, restaurants, and other establishments in Mumbai, and if a sum of Rs. 2-3 lakhs each was collected, a monthly collection of Rs. 40-50 crore was achievable. Deshmukh also said that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources including Hukkah parlors.
“I had informed you about Deshmukh’s instruction when I was called in at your official residence “Varsha” in mid-March 2021, to discuss the Ambani bomb scare case,” Singh said in his letter to the chief minister”. “I had also briefed the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other senior Ministers about these misdeeds and malpractices,” Singh said.
Deshmukh in his live interview on March 18, to a Marathi news daily “Lokmat” had said that “I was transferred out because: (a) there were serious lapses committed at my office, by the Mumbai Police and me in the investigation of the Antilia incident; (b) my serious lapses are not pardonable and, (c) my transfer is not on administrative grounds”, Singh pointed out.
He added that a case bearing no. 35/ 2021 was registered with the Gamdevi Police Station soon after the incident of the bomb scare on February 25. The case is being investigated by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). All necessary assistance had been rendered by my office and my officers for the conduct of a free and fair investigation by the ATS and the NIA into the Antilia incident.
“ With all humility at my command and as a true citizen of the Nation who has stood by his oath as a Police Officer for 32 years, I urge you to take note of the mentioned facts and stand by the constitutional values that guide the actions of the high seat you occupy,” Singh said in his letter.
However, the Chief Minister’s office in a release claimed that Param Bir Singh’s letter was sent through firstname.lastname@example.org… Which are fake emails and Singh’s official email email@example.com. Deshmukh said that he would file a defamatory suit against Singh. When the attempts were made by the “Transcontinental Times”, Singh could not be reached since he had switched off his phone.
On Sunday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar told the media in New Delhi that the matter will be discussed on Monday and the final decision about Deshmukh’s resignation will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. If need be the CM will conduct the inquiry in the matter. The inquiry can be conducted by senior retired police officer like Julio Rebeiro, he suggested.
“The letter purportedly sent by Singh to the chief minister has not been signed by him. Also, he has levelled allegations after he was transferred out. Why did he not level these allegations when he was the Mumbai police commissioner?. He has also not made it clear whether Rs 100 crore was collected and if collected to whom the money was given. Singh was Chairman of the committee which had recommended the reinstatement of Vaze. Singh’s letter levelling allegations against Deshmukh surfaced only after BJP leader Devendra Phadnavis met party leaders in New Delhi. The attempts to weaken the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government in Maharashtra are on. But the Maharashtra Government is stable”, Pawar said.
BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad
BJP leader and Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad termed the MVA Government as a “loot Government” (a robber Government). If Rs 100 crore was the target for Mumbai? What was the target for Maharashtra, Prasad asked while briefing the media. What was the target of other ministers? This is Operation Loot, he said.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said that former DG Subodh Jaiswal and senior officer official Rashmi Shukla, in their report had pointed out the massive corruption for plum postings. The report was submitted to the chief minister, who transferred it to the Home Minister. But no action on the report was taken. Similarly, Vaze was using the vehicles belonging to automobile dealer Mansukh Hiren whose dead body was found in suspicious condition in Kalwa creek in Thane on March 05. One should find out who else in the state government was using the cars belonging to Mansukh Hiren. Referring to Sharad Pawar’s remarks, Fadnavis said that Pawar was speaking half-truth and was attempting to save the MVA Government. As such BJP demands that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh should resign immediately or else the BJP would continue its agitation till such time he resigns.