Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar has advised a special investigation into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. The investigator he suggested was Julio Ribeiro – the former Mumbai top cop, who eventually became the chief of Gujarat and Punjab police and eventually named India’s ambassador to Romania.
“Julio Riberio’s credibility is such that no one can interfere or influence his investigation,” Mr Pawar said amid a huge political storm unleashed by a letter of Mr Singh – sent immediately after he was transferred to the Home Guards.
Mr Pawar, a key ally in the ruling Maharahtra Vikas Aghadi, questioned the timing of Mr Singh’s allegations. Pointing out that the officer spoke only after he was moved out, Mr Pawar said the allegations are lacking in substance.
“The timing of these allegations against Anil Deshmukh has to be looked into. Why now? Param Bir Singh has made all these allegations after he was transferred,” Sharad Pawar told reporters in Delhi.
“There were allegations that HM had directed police to collect 100 crore. There is no information on actual transaction of money. No Information on any money being transferred to the Home Minister or his staff,” Mr Pawar told reporters in Delhi, where he reached this morning with daughter Supriya Sule.
Mr Singh, moved out of the top Mumbai police post after lapses in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe, has accused Mr Deshmukh of corruption and interference in police work.
The home minister – Mr Singh wrote in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — had started an extortion racket with several officers, including Sachin Waze, who has been arrested in the explosives case. They were set a target of Rs 100 crore a month and told to collect from pubs and restaurants.
He also issued orders, meant for political gains, to police officers and encouraged them to bypass their commanding officers.
In the letter, Mr Singh said he has spoken about the home minister’s “misdeeds” to Sharad Pawar, his nephew and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and a few other leaders.