Demanding a CBI probe into the alleged “large scale corruption” in police transfers in Maharashtra, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis Tuesday said he has handed over the evidence to the Union Home Secretary.

Fadnavis claimed he had 6.3 GB of data of call records intercepted by then Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla where the names of several key police officers were discussed.

“I gave all evidence to Union Home Secretary, in a sealed envelope. I have demanded a CBI inquiry. He assured me he will look into it and the government will take appropriate action. Why was the matter brushed under carpet? Why did the state government do nothing? Whom did they want to protect?” Fadnavis said after meeting the Home Secretary, as quoted by ANI.

Fadnavis’ fresh allegations came days after IPS officer Param Bir Singh accused the state’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of indulging in “corrupt malpractices” on transfers and postings. Raising the stakes in his face-off with the Maharashtra government over his removal as Mumbai’s police chief last week, Singh has moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into alleged corruption by the state’s Home Minister “before the evidences are destroyed”.

Fadnavis claimed that Shukla had submitted a report to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in August last year, listing names of senior police officers, IPS officials, and politicians through calls intercepted with due permission from the state government. However, the state government did not take any action, Fadnavis alleged.

“The conversation in the 6.3 GB data is all about home and police department alone. All the officials whose phone calls were recorded got the posts they lobbied for. This proves that calls intercepted by Shukla had important details,” Fadnavis claimed.

The BJP leader also released letters written by Shukla to former Director-General Subodh Jaiswal drawing attention towards the alleged police transfer racket. Jaiswal informed the chief minister who forwarded the matter to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

“Instead of taking action against those involved in the racket, Rashmi Shukla was sidelined. She was shifted as DG Civil and Defense. This was a special post created by the government. But till date there was no cabinet consent taken for the post,” Fadnavis added.

Fadnavis, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, said that in 2017 when he was chief minister, he received a tip-off by some police officers about a secret meeting regarding transfer of police officials. “It was a part of racket and completely illegal hence a raid was conducted and arrests were made,” said Fadnavis.

“Commissioner of Intelligence, Rashmi Shukla, had came to know about a similar activity and sought proper permissions from then ACS (additional Chief Secretary), Home, and intercepted phone calls of several police officials and politicians,” the BJP leader said.

‘Another attempt to bring down the MVA government’: NCP

NCP spokesperson and state minister Nawab Malik Tuesday termed Fadnavis’ claims as “another attempt to bring down the MVA government”.

“The BJP cannot live without power. But they will not able to topple this government like in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and some other states. BJP’s state leadership is thus seeking the Centre’s help to malign the image of the MVA government and to bring it down,” PTI quoted him as saying.

Calling former Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla as an “agent of the BJP”, Malik claimed, “She prepared the call records illegally hence she was transferred as a punishment.”

“I have the details of Rashmi Shukla’s report with me. She had mentioned telephonic conversations between some police officials who had paid bribes to get key posts, but that didn’t happen,” he said.

Malik accused Fadnavis of “lying and misguiding” people over the contents of Shukla’s report. “The MVA government enjoys satisfactory majority in the Assembly. Nobody can destabilise it,” he said.

(Inputs from PTI)



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