Former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh's allegations against home minister Anil Desmukh are just meant to remove attention from the investigation into the Mukesh Ambani security scare case, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said today. Mr Singh's corruption allegations against the home minister have landed the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government into a huge controversy since last week. Mr Pawar had questioned the officer's motives yesterday, pointing out that he had made the allegations only after being moved out from the top post over the lapses in the investigation into the Ambani bomb scare case.
"The important issue is the Ambani bomb scare case. After the arrests made by the Anti-Terror Squad, it is now clear who killed Hiren. During the investigation it will be revealed why did these two kill Mansukh Hiren... on whose behalf," Mr Pawar told reporters.
"The Mumbai ATS is probing is in the right direction. Now to divert that, vague allegations have been levelled by Param Bir Singh," Mr Pawar said.
The veteran leader of the Nationalist Congress Party also ruled out any action against the home minister, a member of his party.
Mr Deshmukh, he said, was ailing and in hospital at the time he had allegedly met police officer Sachin Vaze and discussed an extortion racket. From February 5 to 27, he was first in hospital and then recuperating at his home in Nagpur. "So it such situation question does not arise about the resignation," he said.
Mr Singh, moved out to Home Guards 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.
In the letter, Mr Singh had said the home minister's orders had come in mid-February. Later, on March 4, a big meeting had taken place between the home minister and others, where possible collections from hookah parlours were discussed.