Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh has alleged that he received instructions directly from Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and minister Aditya Thackeray to reinstate dismissed assistance police inspector Sachin Vaze to the force, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
“I got similar instructions for his posting to the crime branch and to give him some important posting there,” he told the Enforcement Directorate. “Some important cases were assigned to CIU [Crime Intelligence Unit] which was headed by Sachin Vaze on instructions of Honourable CM and Honourable Home Minister [Anil Deshmukh].”
Vaze had been suspended from the police in 2004 for his alleged involvement in a custodial death. He had then joined the Shiv Sena for a short period of time. He was reinstated as the assistant police inspector in 2020 before being removed from the post last year due to his alleged involvement in the bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s home in Mumbai.
This is the first time that Singh has levelled allegations against the Thackerays. Last year, Singh had accused then state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of coercing police officers to extort money on his behalf from the owners of bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Singh’s statement is part of a supplementary chargesheet filed against Deshmukh in December on corruption and money laundering charges.
In his statement, the former Mumbai police chief also alleged that Deshmukh and Transport Minister Anil Parab would send lists of officers and postings to be allotted, in violation of Supreme Court norms.
He alleged that Deshmukh had met Vaze and urged him to withdraw his statement to the Enforcement Directorate, reported India Today.
“I have also learned that Sachin Vaze is being pressurised in jail and is being strip searched and abused on a daily basis for the same [to withdraw his statement],” Singh alleged.
On the allegations, Parab told The Indian Express he was not aware of his name being mentioned in the central agency’s chargesheet. “Neither do we have any such information with us nor have we received it,” he told the newspaper.
Deshmukh had previously accepted he and Parab would send such lists or transfers and postings but they would follow due procedure.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut described the allegations against the Thackerays as “vendetta politics” against the Maharashtra government through central investigative agencies.
“The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] wants to topple the government and they want us to surrender to them,” he claimed. “They are targeting, right from the chief minister to leaders like me. But we won’t buckle under the pressure and will continue to fight.”
Singh has five cases of extortion filed against him in Maharashtra.
In March, Singh had written to Thackeray, alleging that Deshmukh extorted money from bars and restaurants in Mumbai. During a Supreme Court hearing in January, Singh’s lawyer had said that his client needed protection from arrest as he had shown the courage to speak out against Deshmukh.
But the Maharashtra government had said Singh could not be considered a whistleblower because he made the accusations only after he was removed as the police commissioner of Mumbai.
After his removal from the post, Singh was made the director-general of the Maharashtra Home Guard. He was suspended from service in December after he did not show up for duty for six months.
The former police officer had gone missing in October, following which he was declared a proclaimed offender. He had reappeared in November to be questioned by Crime Branch officers in one of the extortion cases against him.