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Mumbai: Once a top cop with the Mumbai police, Parambir Singh is now an “absconding accused” with a lookout notice issued against him. Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil confirmed that a lookout notice has been issued against Singh after he was not found at his residence and failed to respond to multiple summons issued by both the central and state investigating agencies. Patil also indicated that Singh could have escaped the country, fearing arrest.
Singh, who is accused of multiple cases ranging from corruption to caste atrocities, went on leave on May 5 from his recent positing as a director-general home guard. He has since been summoned on several occasions by the National Investigation Agency, the Centra Bureau of Investigation and several local Mumbai police units. He did not turn up.
The NIA, which is investigating the alleged bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia in South Mumbai, had summoned Singh in August for recording his statement. Singh’s close aide and assistant police inspector Sachin Waze has already been arrested in the case, along with several other junior-level cops.
This is not the first time that Waze is facing criminal charges. A self-styled “encounter specialist”, Waze was last arrested in the alleged extra-judicial murder of a 27-year-old engineer, Khwaja Yunus, in 2004. Waze was suspended from the police and was reinstated only in 2020. The trial in the Yunus murder case still continues.
A Scorpio car was found with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat letter outside Antilia on February 25. It was subsequently linked to one businessman Mansukh Hiran, who is the owner of an auto parts shop in Thane. On March 4, Hiran was reported missing and, the next day, his body was found in a creek at Kalwa in Thane district. Waze is also accused of playing a crucial role in Hiran’s murder and later disposal of his body. Other accused include retired cop Pradeep Sharma, Sunil Mane, Naresh Gor, Vinayak Shinde, Riyazuddin Kazi, Santosh Shelar, Anand Jadhav, Satish Mothkuri and Manish Soni.
After a cyber expert accused Singh of paying him Rs 5 lakh to allegedly modify a report related to the Jaish-Ul-Hind “claiming responsibility” for placing the explosives-laden car near Antilia, Singh was summoned for questioning. “Since August, he was summoned on several occasions. But he did not turn up,” said a senior police official. The NIA has since looked for Singh at his official residence in Mumbai and his other houses in Rohtak and Chandigarh. “Our officer had visited his residence in Haryana to issue summons. But Singh was not there,” said the NIA officer.
The central and state agencies are now suspecting that Singh could have fled to a country. Some media reports suggest that Singh could have fled to Russia. Patil did not refute the claim. “It is possible. I have heard this too. We are trying to find out his whereabouts. If he has really absconded, it is not good,” the home minister said.
As a serving officer, Singh is duty-bound to inform the government before leaving the country. “There are procedures in place. Every officer has to seek proper permission before leaving the country. Singh, to my knowledge, has not sought any such permission,” Patil told the media in Mumbai.
Singh, once a celebrated cop, fell out of favour with the government after he was targeted for not handling the investigation in the Antilia bomb scare case well. Waze, who was directly reporting to Singh at that time, a prime suspect in the case, was arrested and Singh was automatically suspected of having either covered up or participated in the crime. Singh was immediately moved out of the Mumbai police.
Soon after his transfer, Singh accused the then state home minister, Anil Deshmukh, of extorting money from hoteliers in Mumbai. Singh, in a long letter addressed to the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, claimed that Waze was one of the main persons from whom Deshmukh had demanded crores of rupees. Waze, Singh said, was under tremendous pressure and had complained about it to Singh on several occasions. Both the CBI and Enforcement Directorate have since been investigating the allegations and Deshmukh too has been summoned for questioning several times. He has moved the court against these investigations and has termed it as “political vendetta”.
The state government had set up a commission headed by retired Judge K.U. Chandiwal to look into the allegations levelled by Singh. The commission has summoned Singh several times and even issued a bailable warrant against him on one occasion. Singh, however, did not appear.