Pressure from Deshmukh to reinstate Waze, got instructions from CM Thackeray: Param Bir Singh tells ED
Mumbai, Feb 2: Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he got "direct instructions" from Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray when Sachin Waze was reinstated in the police force in 2020.
There was "direct pressure" from then home minister Anil Deshmukh to take Waze back into service, Singh has claimed. Waze is currently in judicial custody following his arrest in the Antilia bomb scare case. He had been reinstated in the police force in June 2020 after being under suspension for over 16 years for his alleged role in the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case.
Param Bir Singh was Mumbai police commissioner when Waze was reinstated. In his statement to the ED which is probing an alleged money laundering case against Anil Deshmukh, Singh said a committee headed by Mumbai police commissioner reviews all cases of suspended personnel from time to time.
"The reasons of Sachin Waze's reinstatement are on the file of the review committee. However, I would like to state that there was direct pressure from home minister Anil Deshmukh for his reinstatement," Singh said in the statement.
"I also got direct instructions from (minister) Aaditya Thackeray and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. I got similar instruction for his posting to crime branch of Mumbai Police and also for giving him charge of some important cases in the unit there," he added.
Singh's statement is part of the ED's supplementary charge sheet against NCP leader Deshmukh who is now in judicial custody. The senior IPS officer further claimed that some important cases were assigned to the Crime Intelligence Unit headed by Waze (whose rank was only assistant inspector) on the instructions of the chief minister and home minister.
Both used to call Waze directly for giving instructions, Singh told the ED. "I would further like to add that Shri Sachin Waze had also told me that for his reinstatement and posting Shri Anil Deshmukh had made a demand of Rs 2 crore," he added.
Other state ministers like the Shiv Sena's Anil Parab also used to give direct instructions to Waze on SBUT redevelopment case and complaints against some Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, Singh alleged in the statement. As to the allegation that Waze collected money for "number one", Singh claimed that Waze referred to then home minister Deshmukh this way.
The commissioner of police is known as "King" and not "number one" in the unofficial jargon of police officials, Singh said. The ED's probe for money laundering against Deshmukh followed allegations by Singh that Deshmukh used to ask Waze and other officers to collect money from bars and restaurants.
The IPS officer, now suspended, also claimed in the statement that he had "heard that...huge consideration were paid to Deshmukh through some intermediaries for favourable (police) transfers and postings." Waze was arrested in March 2021 following the discovery of an SUV with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence Antilia here and the subsequent mysterious death of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
Singh was then shunted out as Mumbai police chief, following which he accused Deshmukh of corruption, leading to the latter's resignation as home minister. PTI