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Maharashtra ex-home minister faces 75 CBI posers over 8 hours | India News

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NEW DELHI: The CBI grilled former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh for eight hours on Wednesday in connection with its probe into allegations of extortion levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, with the day-long session focusing on the NCP leader’s equations with Singh, suspended API Sachin Waze and the authenticity of the WhatsApp messages sent to him by ACP Sanjay Patil.
Sources told TOI that the CBI team asked Deshmukh whether Waze would visit him at his residence and whether it was normal for the former home minister to meet API-rank police officers at his home.
Sources said Deshmukh was grilled by two superintendent of police rank officers — Abhishek Dular and Kiran S — at the DRDO guest house in Mumbai. The two SPs are part of a 12-member team to probe the high profile case, a source said.
Investigators are learnt to have confronted Deshmukh with statements given by people they had quizzed in the last one week in connection with the “letter bomb” dropped by the former Mumbai police chief before he was shunted out.
Deshmukh was asked specific questions about each allegation made by Singh and Waze. However, the crucial portion of questioning revolved around Singh’s purported exchange of messages with ACP Patil, an officer said.
Many in political and police circles are intrigued by Patil’s messages to Singh, based on which the former Mumbai top cop alleged that Deshmukh had set a target of Rs 100 crore a month for Mumbai police to be raised from bars and hotels. Singh had shot off his explosive letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray when Mumbai police and the state government were reeling under the disclosure of Waze planting explosives outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
The CBI team, sources said, will seek to investigate the suspicion rife in many quarters that the letter and its timing could have been crafted to distance Singh from Waze, who had flourished on his charge.
Deshmukh came to the guest house around 10.15 am. His questioning began at 11 am and ended around 6.30 pm but he didn’t leave immediately. Sources said the team asked Deshmukh over 75 questions through the day and may question him again after studying his statement.
After being asked about his relationship with Singh and Waze, Deshmukh was asked how often the latter visited his residence and office and which other officers from Mumbai police did the same, another source familiar with the questioning said. He was asked if he ever asked Waze to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai every month.
Deshmukh denied all the allegations and said these were attempts to malign him and the state government.

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