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'Param Bir destroyed Kasab's mobile': Ex-cop hits out at former Mumbai commissioner


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MUMBAI: Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Samsher Khan Pathan has claimed former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh "destroyed" a mobile phone seized from the 26/11 terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Kasab.

Pathan had submitted a written complaint to the Mumbai Police Commissioner in July and asked him to investigate the entire matter and take necessary action against Singh.

Though Pathan's complaint was submitted four months ago, it was widely circulated on social media on Thursday, the day when Singh appeared before the Mumbai crime branch to record statement in an extortion case registered at Goregaon police station against him.

Singh was removed from the post of Mumbai police chief in March this year and he was succeeded by senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale.

Pathan, in the complaint, has said the then-senior inspector of the DB Marg police station, N R Mali, had informed him that they had recovered a mobile phone from Kasab and the device was handed over to a constable identified only as Kamble.

He alleged that Singh, who was then-DIG (Anti-Terrorism Squad), took the mobile phone from the constable.

Singh should have handed the phone over to Ramesh Mahale, the investigating officer of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, but he "destroyed the vital piece of evidence", Pathan claimed in the complaint.

Singh was unavailable for comment.

Kasab was captured alive during the terror strike at multiple sites in Mumbai 13 years ago.

After a trial and confirmation of his death sentence by the Supreme Court, he was hanged in November 2012.

Singh, declared an absconder by a court, arrived in the city on Thursday and was questioned by crime branch officials in an extortion case registered against him.

Singh, who flew in here from Chandigarh, arrived at the office of the unit 11 of the Mumbai police's crime branch in Kandivali after 11 am.

He left at around 6.15 in the evening, seven hours later.

The IPS officer, who is still Director General of Home Guard in Maharashtra, arrived and left in an official car.

The crime branch questioned him in connection with an alleged extortion case registered at Goregaon police station in the city, a senior official said.

"He cooperated with the probe and replied to all our questions. We have issued him a notice, stating that he should appear again whenever required," the official told PTI.

Singh's lawyer Rajendra Mokashi said the IPS officer appeared as per the court's order, and was cooperating with the probe.

Builder-hotelier Bimal Agrawal has registered a case at suburban Goregaon police station, accusing Singh and some other police officials of extorting money from him by threatening to frame him in a false case.

Singh is facing a total of five extortion cases in Maharashtra.

As summons issued to him went unanswered, a court here had earlier this month declared the IPS officer a "proclaimed offender".

After disappearing from public view since May this year, Singh had told news channels on Wednesday that he was in Chandigarh.

He has not reported to work since May following his transfer from the post of Mumbai police commissioner and his subsequent allegations of corruption against then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.

Singh had been shunted out after police officer Sachin Waze was arrested in the case of an SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house, 'Antilia' and the subsequent suspicious death of businessman Mansukh Hiran The Supreme Court granted Singh protection from arrest a few days ago.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday discussed the situation in violence-hit Amravati and the sudden return of senior IPS officer Param Bir Singh to Mumbai at a meeting attended by senior officials and key ministers.

The meeting took place after the weekly cabinet meet.

Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and women and child development minister Yashomati Thakur, who is the guardian minister of Amravati, were among those who attended the meeting.

Officials said Singh, who arrived in Mumbai on Thursday morning, should have informed the government about his visit.

By not doing so, the former Mumbai police commissioner, who has multiple extortion cases registered against him, faces possible disciplinary action, they said.

On his return to the city, Singh appeared before the crime branch to record his statement in an extortion case filed against him in Mumbai.

The government has already started the administrative process to suspend the senior IPS officer, who has been declared a proclaimed offender by a Mumbai court.

The situation in Amravati city, which was rocked by violence around two weeks ago, was also reviewed at the meeting, the officials said.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)