By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, April 7 (IANS) The controversial arrested-suspended police official Sachin Vaze was apparently a privileged and blue-eyed boy of former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh, as per a report submitted by Mumbai Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale to the Maharashtra Home Department.
Starting with his reinstatement, the report details Assistant Police Inspector (API) Vaze’s nine-month long tenure in the elite Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch and says he was reinstated by Singh in June 2020, after a decision of the Police Establishment Board, despite opposition from top police officers then.
Two Police Inspectors (PI) – Sudhakar Deshmukh and Vinay Ghorpade – were transferred to Units 01 and 10 ostensibly to make way for Vaze, who was of a lower API rank, but was posted as in-charge of the CIU which was a higher, PI level post.
“As per the information given on telephone, the then Jt. CP (Crime) has strongly opposed for posting of Sachin Vaze. But at the insistence of the then CoP (Singh), the then Jt. CP (Crime) unwillingly issued the office order for posting of Vaze at CIU,” says the damning report, posted by Maharashtra Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
Earlier, after his suspension period ended on June 5, 2020, Vaze was reinstated and posted in a non-executive post at the Armed Police Forces on June 8, 2020, but barely a couple of days later he landed the plum appointment at the CIU.
Upon joining the CIU, Vaze reported directly to Singh bypassing all rules, strictly prohibited his (CIU) colleagues from reporting to other Crime Branch officials, and would convey important decisions to the Crime Branch officers.
“Vaze has not followed the rules and he directly and independently reported to the then CoP (Singh) and he investigated under his guidance, was following the guidelines of (Singh) about raid on illegal activities, whom to arrest or not, to call whom as witness and accused of sensitive crimes,” stated the report.
He also took up points of the CIU in remands, bail, anticipatory bail pleas and other critical decisions, and if he required manpower for various investigations, it was given as per Singh’s directions.
It added that Vaze was present in all important matters like the TRP case, Dilip Chabria (sports cars scam) case and the SUV Scorpio abandoned near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. He also accompanied Singh to an important briefing to the minister.
As the in-charge of CIU, Vaze was given a Tata Sumo, an Innova and a Scorpio for official purposes, but he was found to be using mainly “high-end luxury cars like Mercedes Benz, Audi, etc. and other private vehicles to reach the office other than these three government vehicles”.
In March, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Vaze for his alleged role in the planting of a SUV with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25, followed by the mysterious death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran on March 5.
After these cases erupted, Singh was shunted out and posted as the Commandant General, Home Guards, following which he shot off a ‘letter-bomb’ targeting former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who quit after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary probe by the CBI into Singh’s allegations.
Congress leader Sachin Sawant said that the report “sheds light on the close relationship between Vaze and Singh”, how he worked directly under Singh’s guidance.
“All the points raised by me in my press conference were found true. Untruth of BJP has been exposed again,” Sawant said.
Interestingly, Commissioner of Police Nagrale’s report has come into the public domain just as Singh was called this morning by the NIA to record his statement in the Vaze case.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)