In a fresh setback for the Maharashtra government, and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, a report by the former intelligence chief of the state has come to light, which alleges malpractices in transfers of top police officials.
On Tuesday, 23 March, Leader of Opposition in the state Devendra Fadnavis met the Union Home Secretary in Delhi and handed over a sealed envelope, supposedly containing ‘6.3 GB of call recordings between top police officers and brokers, over postings and transfers.’
Quint Hindi has accessed the State Intelligence report, that reveals the names of several political bigwigs in the state.
The report claims that agents or ‘brokers’ used their contacts with resourceful government figures to arrange desirable transfer postings for many police officers.
The ‘Transfer Racket’
On 20 August 2020, State Intelligence Commissioner Rashmi Shukla submitted a top secret report to DGP Subodh Jaiswal in which one Mahadev Ingle had been named as mastermind behind a ‘transfer racket’. Ingle's phones had been under surveillance since 29 July 2020.
When Ingle's intercepted calls were analysed, it was found that he had been in contact with officials at various levels within the police force: from an inspector to the DIG in Maharashtra.
Ingle had, on the basis of his contacts with political bigwigs in the state, been discussing and ‘brokering’ transfers and postings with several police officers.
He had allegedly discussed transfers/postings of as many as 29 people. Following this, around a dozen of them purportedly got transfers of their choice.
The State Intelligence department is believed to have intercepted Ingle’s conversations with the following police officers, about their desired postings:
DIG Nisar Tambole
SP Dilip Bhujbal
SP Vijay Kumar Magar
SP Shreedhar G
SP Shivaji Rathod
SP Rakesh Kal Sagar
SP Digambar Pradhan
SP Atul Jhande
Additional SP Sandeep Palave
Additional SP Vaishali Kuru-Kar
DCP Parag Mere
Additional SP Milind Mohite
Additional SP Raju Bhujbal
DCP Ashok Dudhe
Deputy SP Rahul Dhas
DCP Rahul Khade
DCP Bharat Tangde
SP Rahul Shri Rame
SP Manoj Patil
SP Chandrakant Khandavi
Deputy SP Ganesh Kendra
Deuty SP Vivek Pawar
Deputy SP Vikas Todawal
ACP Ashok Virkar
ACP Dhola Teli
ACP Hemant Sawant
The other ‘agent’ whose calls were intercepted was Santosh alias Sagar Jagtap. His mobile number had been placed under surveillance by the Intelligence Department since 11 August 2020.
The report claimed that Jagtap had met with Aditya Thackeray, Anil Deshmukh, and Ajit Pawar for the transfer of DCP Sachin Patil. Jagtap had, along with Congress and NCP MLAs from Nashik, also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium in Mumbai, as per the report.
Apparently, Jagtap had put in a lot of effort to push for the transfer of DCP Patil.
However, Uddhav Thackeray’s consent was deemed ‘mandatory’ for Patil’s transfer due to the dominance of Thackeray’s party Shiv Sena in Nashik. The transfer was completed only after Jagtap’s meeting with Pawar, following which Pawar sent a WhatsApp message to Thackeray with Patil’s name, as per the report.
Following this, Jagtap told Patil that his name will be included in the transfer order.
Jagtap's intercepted calls also allegedly revealed that he was also in contact with ADG Vipin Kumar Singh.
Names of many more agents whose calls were intercepted by the State Intelligence department have come to light. These include Nawaz Muneer Azimuddin and Devanand Bhoje. These people are also alleged to have contacted different police officials in Maharashtra regarding their transfers.
The report also claims that some of these officers had paid money to these agents.
After Shukla sent this report to DGP Jaiswal, he, on 26 August 2020, sent it to Sitaram Kunte, Additional Chief Secretary, Home. Kunte, thereby, forwarded the report to Chief Minister Thackeray, who went on to send it to State Home Minister Deshmukh.
However, no action is believed to have been taken in this regard, till date.
. Read more on India by The Quint.‘You Embody Courage’: PB Mehta’s Students Read Out His LetterMaharashtra Transfer Racket: State Intel Report Reveals Big Names . Read more on India by The Quint.