The skeletons in the Mumbai Police’s closet are steadily coming out. A new series of allegations, over underworld ties, have been leveled against the police department and its former Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh. Police Inspector Anup S Dange made explosive revelations, claiming that the city’s top had underworld ties and that a detailed inquisition into the matter is carried out. Dange wrote a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, alleging that Jeetendra Navlani aka Jeetu had threatened the inspector, with his connections to Singh, while carrying out official duties.
The incident transpired in Beach Candy where the inspector claims he was trying to ensure clubs in the area adhere to closing times. Jeetu, the owner of the ‘Dirty Buns Club’ allegedly took objection to this and threatened the policeman. Singh at the time held the appointment of Director General Anti-Corruption and did not order a charge sheet into the matter upon taking over as commissioner in February 2020. Coincidentally Dange was involved in another incident in the vicinity that day when a police constable was allegedly assaulted by Yash Rajiv Mehta, grandson of Bollywood producer and a diamond merchant, Bharat Shah. The police inspector filed a First Incident Report (FIR) against Mehta.
Dange accused Singh of having met Navlani in a rented apartment on the first floor of Moti Mahal, opposite Marine Drive Police Station. The flat was rented by Shardul Singh Bayas. According to Dange, Navlani met Singh with the intent of having his name out of the FIR and that he (Dange) be taught a lesson. Bayas had claimed to be the commissioner’s brother and tried to extort Rupees 50 lakhs to avoid a punishment posting. Dange faced suspension in July 2020 and claims that Bayas attempted to extort him further by asking for two crores to have him reinstated.
According to Dange, his sources revealed that and discovered that Singh was allegedly very deeply entrenched with Navlani. In his letter, he claims that Singh and Navlani are in bed with the Wadhwa brothers and the Dewan Brothers who were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to a money laundering case involving Iqbal Mirchi, a known mafia figure. He went on to claim that Navlani acts as the nexus between corrupt police officials and businessmen in their illegal dealings and that the former commissioner conspired to protect Navlani, Shah, and Mehta from legal action.
The nexus between Singh and suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze is being scrutinised under a fine tooth comb. Vaze, a former encounter specialist with a checkered police career is the key accused in the case of the gelatin laden Scorpio, Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), found parked outside billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia residence in South Mumbai, on 25 February 2020, and the death of 48-year-old Thane businessman, Mansukh Hiren, owner of the SUV.
The suspended policeman is presently under custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), India’s premier counter terror task force, in-order to recreate the crime scene with NIA, following which he will be taken into the custody of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), for his alleged role in the drowning of Hiren. Vaze was once a member of a once famed Mumbai police encounter brigade, which was responsible for gunning down more than 600 underworld figures during the height of the Mumbai Mafia. He was suspended in 2002 for an alleged case of custodial torture of a suspected Indian Mujahideen member, following which he joined the Shiv Sena. Vaze was reinstated in the Mumbai Police in 2020 at the behest of Shiv Sena, citing ‘manpower shortages to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.’ He was inducted as part of the Crime Intelligence Unit, which some claim is the unofficial nerve center of the force. The CIU is reported to directly answer to the Mumbai Police Commissioner of the day,