The Maharashtra government and the Center through their respective law enforcement agencies are engaged in a no-holds-barred proxy war, with serving and retired police officers in the state terming it “unique”, “disgusting” and “dangerous”.
The CBI’s summons to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary and DGP in the Anil Deshmukh case is the latest friction point and has triggered an unprecedented “summons” war. Maharashtra Police has asked the CBI Director, who is himself a former DGP of Maharashtra, to appear in the phone tapping case. The CBI replied with another summons to the two most senior officers of the state. The state government has taken the matter to the High Court.
In another episode of tug of war, NCB’s Mumbai Zonal Director, Sameer Wankhede has alleged that two plainclothes officers of Mumbai Police were chasing him, and gave a complaint to the office of the DGP and the Union Home Ministry. The state police said on Thursday that an inquiry has been ordered into his complaint.
Earlier, Nawab Malik, a leader of the NCP in the ruling MVA alliance, had alleged that Wankhede was acting on behalf of the government. BJP To defame Bollywood, he alleged that for the raid on the cruise ship Cordelia, which led to the arrest of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Wankhede had taken a BJP member as a panch witness.
Currently under investigation by the ED and CBI are the following MVA leaders – Deputy CM and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, NCP leaders Anil Deshmukh, Eknath Khadse and Shiv Sena leaders Anil Parab, MPs Bhavna Gawli and Pratap Sarnaik.
For most of last year, it was Mumbai Police vs CBI, NCB and ED Sushant Singh Rajput The suicide case, the investigation into the Mumbai Police vs ED TRP scam that was initiated by the police, and the Maharashtra government’s decision to withdraw the general consent for the CBI.
The proxy tensions reached a climax after security scares exposed the Mumbai Police’s seam side outside Ambani’s house earlier this year, leading to the arrest of sub-inspector Sachin Vaz, who is allegedly a former Mumbai cop. The commissioner was close to Param Bir Singh.
After Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis exposed Vaze’s role in the Antilia bomb case, days after the state government transferred it to the Maharashtra ATS, the NIA took over the case.
In September, when the NIA chargesheet was filed, NCP leader Nawab Malik alleged that Param Bir Singh was kept out of it because he “helped” the Center with his blistering letter accusing the then Home Minister Deshmukh of corruption. “It was.
Singh’s allegations of corruption against Deshmukh and Singh’s subsequent transfer exposed a massive worm. The cash transfers of 2019 by the State Intelligence Department (SID) came under Jaiswal’s surveillance to probe the police transfer, as soon after the DGP surfaced, in which Fadnavis leaked details of phone taps done during the investigation.
In the state government, Jaiswal – he left the state police in late 2019 to go on central deputation as DG CISF, following Deshmukh’s acrimonious controversy over transfers – and leaked phone tap details of IPS officer Rashmi Shukla had access to. (The state has still called them witnesses and not suspects), which is now being probed by the Mumbai Police Cyber Cell.
The officials saw state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte and DGP Sanjay Pandey issuing the CBI summons as well as Jaiswal’s stamp in the Deshmukh case. None of them have been named in the case, and have been called as “witnesses”.
A senior state government official said, “The CBI is unable to interrogate the accused and the complainant is missing, but it wants to interrogate two officials who have nothing to do with the case.”
Neither Pandey nor Kunte have responded to the summons, with the state government filing a writ challenging the summons on Tuesday.
Former senior IPS officers of the state police said they were shocked and disappointed at the way one law enforcement agency is being pitted against another.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro said, “This has never happened before and it is disgusting, I must say. Some wrong choices were made in the past by appointing persons of questionable integrity to important positions, which has led to all this. It’s all very disappointing.”
Former Maharashtra DGP Praveen Dixit called the developments “unique”. “Because of this, the main job of these agencies is to go after terrorists and anti-nationals. People are shocked because they have no idea why all this is happening. While political parties should refrain from using officials for their own selfish purposes, to some extent, officials should also be blamed.
Former Maharashtra IPS officer Meeran Chadha Borwankar said, “Such a confrontational policy is extremely dangerous, harmful and unprofessional. If the state police and CBI are there to ‘find out the truth’, then we should cooperate in doing so. All political parties are ‘using’ law enforcement agencies for their selfish ends. Providing good governance to common citizens is nowhere in their attention. I am shocked to say the least.”
A Home Department official said the state government had acted “in the most restrained manner”. “It is not that we issued the summons immediately after the CBI summoned the state chief secretary and the DGP as a countermeasure. Our investigation in the data leak case was on and we had issued summons to Jaiswal to bring more clarity in the matter. In fact, after we issued the summons, the CBI immediately issued the third summon, asking the officers to appear before the CBI Director before the date assigned to him to appear before the Mumbai Police,” the officer said. .
While Jaiswal did not respond to calls and messages seeking his side on the issue, CBI sources said that the summons were sent keeping in mind the probe being conducted by the CBI and there was nothing more to it. Pandey and Kunte also did not respond to requests seeking their comments on the issue.
deepening fault lines
While there have been rifts between IPS officers in the past, the Center vs State issue has made the situation even more serious as both the parties are free to take action against each other. It has worked to expose all the flaws in the Maharashtra Police trapped in factionalism.