NCP denies the charge, says 80% of transfers discussed in alleged phone conversations never took place
The ongoing political turmoil escalated on Tuesday after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis alleged of irregularities in transfer of police officers in Maharashtra citing a confidential report from the former commissioner of State intelligence department, Rashmi Shukla, who had put several phone numbers on surveillance. Mr. Fadnavis demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, denied the allegation saying 80% of the transfers discussed in the alleged phone conversations never even took place, and the rest were confirmed by a committee of senior IPS and IAS officers of which former Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Jaiswal was a member.
“For lower posts, a well-established police board generally submits its recommendations and then the further process takes place,” NCP’s Mumbai president and State Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said.
The NCP said that Ms. Shukla had illegally put phone numbers of several political leaders on surveillance, when the MVA government was being formed, to help the BJP. “That was the reason why she was shunted out from the intelligence department after the government was formed,” Mr. Malik said.
The party alleged that Ms. Shukla and Mr. Jaiswal worked for the BJP. “When the BJP realised that it could not buy our MLAs, it started working on officers. We knew that, and hence, decided to keep those officers away from sensitive positions,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Fadnavis at a press conference claimed that he was in possession of 6.3 GB data of phone interceptions which he would produce before the Union home secretary and demand a CBI probe.
“Ms. Shukla had sought permission from then DGP Mr. Jaiswal and through proper channel with approval from the then additional chief secretary of Home Department, several important phone numbers were put on surveillance,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
He added that on August 25, 2020, Ms. Shukla submitted a report to Mr. Jaiswal and the next day, he forwarded it to the Chief Minister office. “No action has been taken either by the Home Department or the CM office since then. Therefore, I have decided to seek a CBI probe into this by meeting the Union home secretary,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
The NCP alleged that since the BJP was not able to destabilise the government, the party is attempting to defame it. “We are not going anywhere. The dirty tricks of the BJP will not harm us. We are capable of answering it,” Mr. Malik said.
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