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NCP stunned as CBI books, raids and detains ex-HM Anil Deshmukh

Mumbai, April 24, 2021-
In a series of swift moves, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, raided around 10 locations across multiple cities and later detained him in Nagpur, official sources said here on Saturday.

Following the first information report, the CBI teams wearing PPE kits, swooped at Deshmukh’s home in Nagpur and other premises in Mumbai, Thane and Pune, stunning the ruling ally, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Deshmukh, who had been interrogated earlier by the CBI in Mumbai for 8 hours on April 14, was likely to undergo a second round of questioning on Saturday.

The CBI action is part of the primary probe into the corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh last month, sparking off a massive political upheaval.

“The CBI has registered an FIR in connection with the corruption allegations against Deshmukh, and searches are underway at various places,” a CBI official connected to the probe told.

In the FIR invoking provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code, the CBI is understood to have named Deshmukh and at least 5 others as accused in the case pertaining to allegations that the former home minister asked a police official to ‘collect’ Rs 100-crore per month from hoteliers and other sources.

The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) constituent NCP National Spokesperson Nawab Malik and Minister Hasan Mushrif, besides Congress Spokesperson Dr. Raju Waghmare termed the action as “politically motivated” and “misuse of central agencies” to target and malign the state government’s image.

Following the fast-paced developments, Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil was closeted in a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, details of which are awaited.

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party state President Chandrakant Patil and others welcomed the CBI action and demanded a probe against other MVA leaders including Transport Minister Anil Parab and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

The movements came after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary enquiry on April 5 by the CBI into the accusations of corruption and misuse of office against Deshmukh and submit its report within 15 days.

Shortly after the court-ordered CBI preliminary probe, Deshmukh quit his post and senior NCP leader Walse-Patil was appointed in his place.

Earlier, Singh had been transferred and Hemant Nagrale appointed new Commissioner of Police, Mumbai. (Agency)

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