Police on Sunday tightened security outside the residence of senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis in south Mumbai and the BKC cyber police station ahead of the recording of his statement in a case of alleged illegal tapping of phones, an official said. The Mumbai cyber police had issued a notice to former Maharashtra chief minister Fadnavis, asking him to appear before them on Sunday in connection with the case.
Fadnavis, however, on Saturday said a senior police officer called to inform him that police will visit his residence to take the required information and there was no need for him to visit the police station. Since a police team will go to the BJP leader’s residence in Malabar Hill area, party supporters may assemble there and outside the BKC cyber police station, hence additional police personnel, including women, were deployed at both the places, the official said.
Phones of political leaders, including state Congress chief Nana Patole, minister Bachchu Kadu, former MLA Ashish Deshmukh, former MP Sanjay Kakade and others were tapped illegally by IPS officer Rashmi Shukla, when she was the state intelligence chief, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil had alleged last month.
“In the notice issued to Fadnavis, police have said that questionnaires were earlier sent to him in sealed envelopes in connection with the case, but he did not respond to them. Besides, notices were also issued to him twice to seek his reply, but he had again failed to reply,” the police official said.
In addition to this, three letters were sent to Fadnavis, reminding him to appear before the police. However, he had failed to give any reply, he said.
A case was registered under the Official Secrets Act at the BKC cyber police station here last year against unidentified persons for allegedly illegally tapping phones and leaking confidential documents. The complaint was lodged by the State Intelligence Department (SID).
However, before the FIR was registered, the then Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte had alleged in his inquiry report that IPS officer Rashmi Shukla had leaked the confidential report.
Shukla is accused of tapping phones of political leaders and senior officials illegally when she was chief of the SID. She found herself at the centre of controversy after Fadnavis cited a letter purportedly written by her to the then Maharashtra Director General of Police about alleged corruption in transfers in the police department.
The letter also had details of intercepted phone calls, leading to an uproar with leaders of the Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition alleging that Shukla tapped phones without permission.
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