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Police record Fadnavis’ statement in phone tapping case

A team comprising Deputy Commissioner of Police Hemraj Singh Rajput, Assistant Commissioner of Police Nitin Jadhav and two inspectors, reached Fadnavis's bungalow 'Sagar' around noon.

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Mumbai: The officers of the cyber crime cell of Mumbai police probing into the alleged leak of a confidential report on phone-tapping on Sunday recorded the statement of leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis in the phone tapping case.

A team comprising Deputy Commissioner of Police Hemraj Singh Rajput, Assistant Commissioner of Police Nitin Jadhav and two inspectors, reached Fadnavis’s bungalow ‘Sagar’ around noon.

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They recorded the BJP leader’s statement for about two hours and then left his residence, an official said. Following a complaint lodged by the State Intelligence Department (SID), a case was registered under the Official Secrets Act at the BKC cyber police station in Mumbai last year against unidentified persons for allegedly illegally tapping phones and leaking confidential documents.

In response to the FIR, a summon notice was issued to Fadnavis asking him to appear before the police today, though the police itself went to his residence and his statement was recorded as a witness.

It may be recalled that the then State Intelligence Commissioner Rashmi Shukla had tapped phones of certain persons after due process of law and after securing permission of the competent authority. According to reports, the information gathered during phone tapping pertained to transfer and posting of IPS and other police officials when senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh was the home minister.

Before the FIR was registered, the then Maharashtra chief secretary Sitaram Kunte had alleged in his inquiry report that Shukla had leaked the confidential report. Heavy security was deployed outside Fadnavis’s home, where a number of BJP leaders gathered, including MLA Nitesh Rane, MLCs Prakash Lad and Pravin Darekar, and party leader Kripashankar Singh.

The BJP workers had also staged protests and burnt copies of the notice in parts of the state, including Pune, Pandharpur (in Solapur district), Nagpur, Chandrapur and Sangli.

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