‘Sack Shinde for siding with Dawood Ibrahim’

The businessman was named in the IPL match-fixing scam. The Congress, on the other hand, has called these allegations ‘pernicious’.

On 30 July last year, the Delhi Police had named Dawood and Chhota Shakeel as the kingpins in their charge-sheet in the IPL 6 spot-fixing and betting scandal. In their 6000-page long charge-sheet, the probe agency also named cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan among 39 others as accused in the scandal. Since then twenty-one accused in the case, including Sreesanth and Chavan, have been granted bail by a court and Rajasthan Royals’ players Rahul Dravid and Harmeet Singh have been made prosecution witnesses.

‘We had filed the charge-sheet before the Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna and as per the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report on call intercepts, one of the voices has been identified as that of Dawood and a witness has identified his voice,’ a Delhi special cell
source said. In an interview to a private television channel on Monday, then home secretary RK Singh alleged that the Dawood Ibrahim angle of probe could not move further as the home minister shielded a businessman involved in the case and believed to be close to the don from getting interrogated. Singh has now joined the BJP and has so far refused to reveal the name of the businessman. Attacking the former home secretary over the allegations, I&B minister Manish Tewari questioned why the bureaucrat had not spoken up earlier. ‘I think it is extremely unfortunate. You have this very pernicious tendency of bureaucrats after retirement trying to make allegations in order to occupy media space,’ Tewari said.

‘If Singh, or anybody else, was really so concerned, then why was not the matter put on record while they were in service,’ Tewari asked. Singh could have articulated his concerns to the cabinet secretary or to the prime minister, he added.

However, backing the charges made by Singh, the BJP on Tuesday demanded that Shinde should be sacked immediately for the act of shielding the businessman with links with Ibrahim. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said: ‘Shinde has no political, moral or legal right to remain as the home minister even for a moment.’ Taking a cue from Prasad’s statement, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said: ‘The ministry of Home Affairs interfering in a match-fixing case in which associates of Dawood sought favours is a matter of nation’s security.’
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