Mumbai, Feb 27 (PTI) Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Sunday demanded that the “role” of the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also handled the Home portfolio, be investigated in the alleged illegal tapping of phones of select politicians after Pune police registered an FIR against IPS officer Rashmi Shukla.
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It is impossible to carry out such illegal activities without the blessings of seniors in the government, Patole told reporters. He was reacting to the FIR filed against IPS officer and former Pune police commissioner Rashmi Shukla in the alleged illegal phone tapping case.
Fadnavis had denied the allegations in the past. “Phone-tapping is not the culture of Maharashtra. My government had not given any such orders,” Fadnavis, the leader of the opposition in the state Legislative Assembly, had said in January 2020.
“An offence has been registered against senior police officer Rashmi Shukla in the phone tapping case but it is necessary to go to the root of the matter. As per the directives of the Supreme Court, the home secretary’s permission is mandatory for tapping anyone’s phone. Rashmi Shukla would not have dared to indulge in illegal phone tapping without the blessings of a senior member of the government,” Patole said.
The role of the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also handled the Home portfolio, should also be investigated in the phone tapping case, he said.
Patole alleged that the former home minister was also involved in the case of illegal phone tapping.
He claimed that during the tenure of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, phones of many ministers and leaders, including him, and of senior IAS and IPS officers were illegally tapped between 2017 and 18 under the watch of Fadnavis.
“It was shown that we were involved in drug dealing and our phones were tapped. Fake Muslim identities were given to us. My name was ‘Amjad Khan’ and Bacchu Kadu (current minister in MVA government) was given the name of ‘Nizamuddin Babu Sheikh’. I had also raised the issue of illegal phone tapping in the Assembly and demanded a high-level inquiry.
“State Home minister Dilip Walse Patil has informed that Rashmi Shukla was found guilty in the inquiry and a case has been registered against her,” Patole said.
He claimed that the phones are generally tapped with special permission to investigate serious cases concerning terrorism, drug trafficking etc “but our phones were tapped despite us having nothing to do with these crimes”.
“It is a crime to keep a person under watch by tapping his phone. This is the violation of individual freedom,” the Congress leader said.
Patole said many questions remain unanswered.
“Though a case has been registered against Rashmi Shukla, many questions remain unanswered like to whom did she give the recordings of phone calls; what was the main motive behind tapping phones; who had ordered Rashmi Shukla to tap phones?” he added.
Patole demanded that the Maharashtra government should expedite the probe into the phone tapping case to find out the real “mastermind” and take stern action.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)