Mumbai (The Hindu): The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday demanded that the Maharashtra government conduct an enquiry into the claims that Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse’s mobile number featured in the call logs of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s wife. It demanded that Mr. Khadse resign his post to ensure a fair investigation.
“We believe this is a very serious charge against a Minister. It is the government’s job to verify these claims, and it must. We want the Maharashtra government to either authenticate or refute the charges,” said AAP spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon.
The Mumbai police crime branch carried out a full data analysis of the number that the AAP alleged belonged to Mr. Khadse.
Officials said they pulled out all details of the number — an exercise that continued till late on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Khadse, already reeling from allegations of his aide being caught in a bribery case by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, issued a statement denying the AAP’s allegations.
Though there were reports indicating that the State government had ordered a probe into the matter, Maharashtra Home Secretary K.P. Bakshi told The Hindu that no such enquiry had been ordered by the government to his knowledge.
A query by The Hindu to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis remained unanswered at the time of going to press.
No Pak calls from Khadse phone: cops
Responding to the AAP allegation, Mumbai Police Commissioner D.D. Padsalgikar told The Hindu, “A full data analysis has confirmed that no calls were either made or received by the number in question to any Pakistan number during the specified period.”
Ethical hacker Mahesh Bhangale, who also addressed the press conference with the AAP, claimed that he procured the list of call details from the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) by impersonating Mehjabeen Shaikh, Dawood’s wife and sought phone usage details from September 5, 2015 to April 6, 2016.
The list of the most-dialled numbers that he got had one U.K. number, four Dubai numbers and five Indian numbers.
Mr. Khadse, who is already reeling from allegations of his aide being caught in a bribery case by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau, issued a statement denying the AAP’s allegations.
Mr. Bhangale, during the media interaction, had also said that he had been working on this project for the past seven months and had made three trips to Dubai to get “raw details”. “I have several sources in Dubai who helped me verify the information that I had managed to get,” he said.
However, he said he couldn’t reveal his sources. Mr. Bhangale was also ambiguous about the financial support he got and said institutions based out of India were funding his activity.
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