The minister also asked Waze to identify fraudulent contractors listed with the BMC and demand at least Rs 2 crore from 50 of them, the letter said.
The letter spoke of an alleged “Rs 2 crore demand” by former home minister Anil deshmukh after NCP chief Sharad pawar considered cancelling Waze’s reinstatement and alleged someone considering to be “very close” to deputy CM Ajit pawar asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore a month from illegal gutka sellers.
In addition, the letter reiterated former city police chief Param Bir Singh’s allegation against Deshmukh of demanding to arrange Rs 3-3.5 lakh each from 1,650 bars and restaurants. NCP said it was not reacting to the letter as there was no direct reference to Ajit Pawar. Waze’s lawyer Rounak Naik said the letter was not accepted by the court, which directed Waze to follow due procedure. Waze alleged that in November 2020, he was approached by a man who claimed he was “a very close person of deputy CM Ajit Pawar”.
The man, he said, explained to him about illegal “gutka and tobacco trade” in Maharashtra and gave him phone numbers. “The said Mr (man) insisted I should collect a monthly amount of Rs 100 crores from these illegal gutka sellers,” the letter said. Waze claimed when he refused to do such an illegal act, he was warned he may lose his post again.
The letter said that in July / August 2020, Waze was called Parab to his official bungalow and asked to look into the SBUT (Saifee Burhani upliftment trust) complaint, which was under preliminary inquiry, and told to bring the trustees for “negotiation” about the inquiry.
“He also insisted to initiate primary talks to get Rs 50 crores from SBUT in order to close the said inquiry. I had expressed my inability to do any such things as I do not know anyone from the SBUT and I also did not have any control over the inquiry, ”the letter said.
Waze further alleged that in January this year, Parab called him to his bungalow “and asked me to look into the inquiry against fraudulent contractors listed in the BMC”.
He told me to collect at least Rs 2 crores from about 50 such contractors. The said inquiry is undergoing on an anonymous complaint. The said inquiry was under preliminary inquiry in the CIU and until my transfer from the CIU nothing incriminating was found, ”the letter said.
Repeating Singh’s charge, Waze alleged that in January this year, Deshmukh had ordered him to extort Rs 3-3.5 lakh each from 1,650 bars and restaurants in the city. Waze said he told the then home minister there are only about 200 bars and turned down Deshmukh’s demand saying “it was beyond the scope of my capabilities”.
Waze claimed when he left the meeting held at the minister’s bungalow ‘Dyaneshwari’, the latter’s PA advised him to comply with the demand if he wanted to keep his job and post. Waze said he had brought this meeting to the notice of then police commissioner (Singh).
“I also expressed my apprehension that somewhere in the future I would be embroiled in a false controversy. The honourable CP sir encouraged me and categorically instructed me to not to involve in any such illegal collection of money from anyone and for anyone, ”Waze stated.
The letter also said Waze’s reinstatement last June, following his suspension in 2004, was opposed by certain “agitators”. He said when NCP Chief Sharad Pawar wanted his reinstatement revoked, Deshmukh had demanded Rs 2 crore from him to convince Pawar to let him stay on. “I had expressed my inability to pay such an amount. On this, the home minister sir asked me to pay in later course, ”the letter said.
Inputs by Sujit Mahamulkar