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Maha Govt Suspends Five Cops For Attending Don's Party

PTI 03 Jan 2010, 17:48:17 IST

The Maharashtra government on Sunday  suspended five police personnel, including an IPS officer, for allegedly attending a Christmas-eve party thrown by the Chhota Rajan gang even as the tainted officials denied the charge. 

"The police personnel who attended the party (organised by Rajan gang members) were suspended," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told reporters at Pune. 

The suspended five police men are Deputy Police Commissioner V N Salve, Assistant Police Commissioner Prakash Wani, Senior Inspector Tulsidas Khakar, Inspector S Khalatkar, and constable Talu Salunke. 

Salve was in-charge of intelligence gathering and providing security to VIPs, while Wani was responsible for the Crime Branch's operations in Mumbai's Eastern suburbs. 

The decision comes a day after Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandan recommended the officials' suspension following allegations that they attended the party. 

Asked if the episode would taint the image of the state police, the chief minister said, "Action has to be taken if something is wrong." The decision to suspend the police officials was taken by Chavan after holding a meeting with Home Minister R R Patil.

Meanwhile, the suspended cops said they had not attended any such party. Claiming to be innocent, DCP Salve said he had nothing to do with the party. "I am innocent. All allegations against me are baseless. I have not attended any party hosted by criminal elements," Salve told PTI. 

On the suspension order, Salve said, "Injustice has been meted out to me...I have not received any suspension letter. I will give my elaborate statement to the government defending myself." 

ACP Wani said, "The clips and photographs published in the media is doctored and it seems to be a conspiracy against me...The truth will come out in the inquiry. My statement would also be recorded." 

 After recommending suspension of the five, Sivanandan had said there were "CCTV footages and photographs which may prove" that the officials were present at the party held at a private gymkhana in suburban Chembur.

The party was reportedly organised to celebrate the release of some top-ranking members of the gang. Among them were dreaded D K Rao, released from jail after 13 years of imprisonment, Farid Tanasha and Sunil Poddar. 

Home minister Patil had ordered an inquiry into the case after photographs and grainy video footage purportedly showing the police personnel in Don's party were aired on TV channels. PTI