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Ambani security scare: Param Bir Singh appears before NIA; Shiv Sena hits out at Centre


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Chennai:

MUMBAI: Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh appeared before the NIA here on Wednesday to record his statement in connection with the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence, an official said.

Singh reached the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) office in south Mumbai in a car around 9.30 am, he said.

Singh, who is currently director general of the Home Guards, was removed from the Mumbai police chief's post last month, following the recovery of the vehicle with explosives near Ambani's house on February 25 and the subsequent murder of Thane businessman Manuskh Hiran.

According to sources, Singh was summoned by the NIA to record his statement in the case.

The NIA last month arrested assistant police inspector Sachin Waze for his alleged role in planting the vehicle with explosives near Ambani's house in south Mumbai.

It had also arrested suspended police constable Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gor in connection with the murder of Mansukh Hiran, whose body was found in the Mumbra creek in neighbouring Thane on March 5.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed that the law and central investigation agencies were being misused to corner political rivals.

An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the Bombay High Court had pulled up senior police officer Param Bir Singh over his allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, but took cognisance of charges in a separate petition filed by one Jayshri Patil.

"Nobody is above law. But, it is now clear that the law and central investigation agencies are being misused to corner political rivals," the Marathi publication claimed.

"It is a cause of concern that constitutional authorities are getting involved in weakening the Maharashtra government in such a manner," it said.

The Shiv Sena shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.

The HC on Monday directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh against NCP leader Deshmukh, following which he resigned as the state's home minister.

The HC was hearing pleas filed by Singh himself, lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay and local teacher Mohan Bhide and city-based lawyer Jayshri Patil.

The HC ordered for the CBI inquiry on Patil's plea.

The editorial said the opposition BJP in Maharashtra makes statements like which state minister is next in line to resign.

"They would not say this if they weren't confident that the central probe agencies were working for them. This is a conspiracy to defame the state," the Sena alleged.

It said earlier also, the opposition parties had levelled allegations against members of the ruling party and several ministers and chief ministers had to quit.

But, the atmosphere was not full of hatred and poison, the Sena said.

It said while the Bombay HC passed an order to conduct a probe into allegations against Anil Deshmukh,Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa recently got a relief from the Supreme Court as it stayed the criminal proceedings against him in a 10-year-old corruption case.

"Why different decisions for Anil Deshmukh and the Karnataka chief minister?" the Marathi daily sought to know.

Referring to a French media report on Rafale fighter jet deal which claimed that Euro 1.1 million was paid to a "middleman" by the aircraft manufacturer, the editorial asked who should now resign on moral grounds? "Is morality only for the Shiv Sena and NCP?" it questioned.

The BJP has already denied the allegation in the French media report as baseless.

The editorial said "the Supreme Court had earlier passed an order that there was no corruption in the Rafale case" and the BJP had targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his charges about corruption in the fighter jet deal.

Notably, the Supreme Court had dismissed the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to "really doubt the decision making process" warranting setting aside of the contract.