ED Nabs Aides of Ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh


Anil Deshmukh.(photo:twitter screenshot)

MUMBAI – The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s Personal Secretary Sanjeev Palande and Personal Assistant Kundan Shinde on Saturday morning in connection with an alleged ‘hafta’ case, officials said here.

Simultaneously, the ED summoned Deshmukh for a probe, but his lawyers have sought more time. The probe agency is likely to give him a fresh date.

Deshmukh (71), a senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) politician, is facing an ED investigation as the fallout of the allegations made in a letter penned by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who is now the Commandant-General of Home Guards.

Singh had alleged in his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March that Deshmukh had fixed a collection target of Rs 100 crore per month for sacked Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, who was the then head of the Crime Intelligence Unit of the elite Crime Branch-CID of the Mumbai Police.

Thereafter, Singh had approached the Supreme Court which directed him to the Bombay High Court where the CBI was asked to conduct a preliminary enquiry.

Meanwhile, Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the twin cases of planting of an SUV Scorpio with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note near Antilia, the home of Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani, followed by the murder of Thane-based owner of the SUV, Mansukh Hiran.

Palande and Shinde were detained on Friday evening after the ED raided Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur and Pune on Friday.

Both were grilled for around nine hours before they were placed under arrested early on Saturday morning, following which a special PMLA court remanded them to ED custody till July 1.

Rejecting the charges against him as “totally baseless”, Deshmukh said he is fully cooperating with the probe agencies and expressed confidence that “the truth will come out before the people soon”.

Though the ED remained tightlipped, the current investigation involves a financial trail of Rs 4 crore that is believed to have been collected by Vaze as ‘hafta’ money through some hoteliers.

The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies have condemned the ‘harassment’ of Deshmukh and slammed the Centre and the BJP for unleashing central probe agencies to target opposition parties and their leaders. -IANS

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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