Mumbai: The Mumbai Police have formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police rank officer to probe the cases involving former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
According to a police officer, the SIT would not only probe the extortion case against Singh and other police officers but would also probe other related cases.
An offence of extortion was registered against Singh and other officers by Marine Drive police on a complaint by developer Shyam Agarwal on Thursday. The developer, who has multiple criminal cases registered against him, had claimed that several crores of rupees have been extorted from him over several years for multiple reasons including not arresting him in an extortion case in which stringent MCOCA was also pressed. The developer has also named five other police officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Akbar Pathan and police officers Sanjay Patil, Shreekant Shinde, Nandakumar Gopale and Asha Kokare.
The FIR, which was registered at Marine Drive police station also names two other accused, Sanjay Punamiya and Sunil Jain, who were arrested by Marine Drive Police. Punamiya and Jain have been remanded to police custody for seven days.
The offence was registered under relevant Indian Penal Code sections for extortion, criminal breach of trust by public servant, dishonest misappropriation of property, cheating and forgery along with criminal conspiracy.
According to the complainant Shyam Agrawal, 57, his former partner Punamiya was a ‘close aide’ of Param Bir Singh, and had extorted several crores from him and also had allegedly taken possession of his properties. Agrawal has gone on to state that on February 17, 2021, an offence of threatening and extortion was registered against him at Juhu police on the basis of a complaint given by Punamiya, who allegedly received threat calls from underworld gangster Chhota Shakeel at the behest of Agrawal from November 2016 to December 2020. On March 1, MCOCA was applied in the case.
Later, on March 5, PI Gopale raided his house and office at Mira-Bhayandar while PI Kokare raided his house at Vile Parle. Agrawal has claimed that during the raid, Gopale contacted Pathan in his presence and demanded Rs 50 lakh for not arresting him. Agrawal has also claimed that Kokare sent a photograph of a 10-rupee note to his nephew Sharad and told him to give the money to the person who would be carrying the same 10-rupee note. Agarwal claims that his relatives gave the money and he was not arrested in the case.
Agarwal further claims that he had paid over Rs 15 crore to Punamiya to stop MCOCA proceedings, Punamiya had extorted money from him in the name of other officers as well, alleged Agrawal in his statement to the police.
"The SIT will probe the Marine Drive and Juhu case as well," said the officer.