In further embarrassment for Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, suspended Mumbai Police assistant inspector Sachin Vaze has written to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) alleging that state ministers Anil Deshmukh and Anil Parab had asked him to commit extortion.
Vaze, who was arrested on March 13 over his alleged role in planting an explosive-laden SUV near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house in south Mumbai on February 25, stated that National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar wanted to revoke his reinstatement to the Mumbai Police in 2020.
He added Deshmukh allegedly told him that he would convince the NCP supremo to allow him back in the force if he pays Rs 2 crore.
“The home minister told me that he will convince Pawar saheb and for that purpose, he asked me to pay Rs 2, 00, 00,000. I had expressed my inability to pay such an amount. On this the home minister asked me to pay it in a later course,” he said in his hand-written note.
The suspended cop also alleged that Parab, the state’s Transport Minister, asked him to extract Rs 50 crore from the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT).
“I had expressed my inability to do any such thing as I do not know anybody from SBUT and also I did not have any control over the inquiry,” he wrote.
Vaze further said that Parab, who met him in July-August 2020 to discuss the SBUT, called him yet again in January 2021 asking to look into the probe against some contractors listed in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and collect Rs 2 crore each from them.
“He told me to collect at least Rs 2 crores from 50 such contractors. An inquiry was on in this matter based on an anonymous complaint. The Crime Intelligence Unit inquiry against the contractors had not yielded any result,” he wrote.
The suspended assistant police inspector also claimed that he had told then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh about the extortion demands made by the two ministers, adding the former top cop “categorically instructed me not to involve myself in any such illegal collection of money from anyone and for anyone”.
Meanwhile, a Mumbai Court today extended Vaze’s NIA custody till April 9 in the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near Ambani’s residence and businessman Mansukh Hiran’s death.
The court also allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to question Vaze, currently under NIA custody, as part of its preliminary probe against Deshmukh.