Mumbai: Following an explosive letter by Mumbai’s former Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh that made allegations of corruption against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) hinted that it doubted its veracity and said the sender’s address needed to be checked.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said the letter purportedly sent by Singh, who has now been posted as DG, Home Guards, was unsigned and came through an email address that was different from the one listed as Singh’s personal email ID in official records.
“An email was received on the CM secretariat’s official email ID at 4.37 pm in the name of the Home Guards Director General Param Bir Singh. We are inquiring into the email ID email@example.com from which the letter in the name of Param Bir Singh without any signature was received. At the same time, we are trying to get in touch with Param Bir Singh through the home department,” a statement from the CMO, released Saturday night, said.
“In reality, the personal email ID that Param Bir Singh has submitted in the IPS officers’ list is firstname.lastname@example.org. So it is clarified on behalf of the CM’s office that it is important to check the email that was received today,” the statement added.
Singh Saturday had purportedly shot off a letter to the Maharashtra CM as well as Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari alleging that Home Minister Deshmukh had instructed his officers, including Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore a month from bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.
Singh was shunted out as Mumbai Police chief Thursday after the arrest of Waze by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the recovery of explosives outside Antilia, industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s home in South Mumbai.
In his letter, Singh said he was a mere scapegoat “to divert attention from actual wrongdoers”.
ThePrint reached Singh for a comment on the CMO’s statement via phone calls and text message but didn’t receive a response until the time of publishing this report.
Deshmukh to file defamation suit against Singh
Deshmukh, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, said he will file a defamation suit against Singh for the allegations he has made. He also urged CM Thackeray to conduct an impartial investigation into the allegations.
In a statement issued Saturday night, Deshmukh said the allegations against him are false and that “Singh has woven an intricate conspiracy to defame” him and the MVA government to save himself.
“Param Bir Singh’s allegations are absolutely false and I dare him to prove them. I am filing a defamation suit against him,” Deshmukh said.
The home minister added that Singh knew he was going to be transferred on 17 March and so, on 16 March, he sent a few questions to Assistant Police Commissioner Sanjay Patil on WhatsApp and got the answers he wanted.
In the letter, Singh has reproduced his conversation over text messages with ACP Patil dated 16 and 19 March, where the Patil is shown reconfirming his conversation with Deshmukh and his secretary when they asked him to collect money from Mumbai’s restaurants and bars.
Deshmukh said, “One can make out from the chats how rattled Param Bir Singh was … he was trying to make ACP Patil say the same thing time and again … Everyone in the police department knows that Sachin Waze and ACP Patil are very close to Param Bir Singh.”
“The Honourable CM should conduct an impartial inquiry into the allegations made by Param Bir Singh,” the minister added.
(Edited by Manasa Mohan)