Probe Into Chhota Rajan Party Reveals Murkier Facts
The Christmas eve party thrown by Chhota Rajan gang members was also attended by Chhota Rajan's wife Sujatha Nikhalje and a few more officers than those already identified. Four of the policemen were suspended by Mahrashtra government on Sunday.
The party hosted by an NCP politician and attended by former underworld men and the police is proving very costly for the men in khaki.
On Saturday, the Mumbai police chief recommended the suspension and departmental action against five policemen, including a DCP and an ACP. Meanwhile, investigators looking into the case have stumbled upon murkier details.
Even as the officers seen in the video maintain they were unaware of the gangsters' presence, it has now been learnt that Sujata Nikhalje, alias Nani, wife of fugitive don Chhota Rajan, also attended the party and was present when the officers are alleged to have been there.
After Mumbai Mirror published pictures of the celebration, the Mumbai Crime Branch stepped up investigation into the matter and collected evidence, which has been submitted to the Home Department.
It is also learnt that there were more officers from the Crime Branch and the Chembur Police Station who had attended the party, and evidence is now being gathered in this regard.
“A senior police officer attended the party with his wife, daughter and son-in-law, while another arrived at the party in uniform and presented a bouquet to the party organiser,” sources said.
Meanwhile, DCP (Special Branch) Vishwas Salve, ACP Prakash Wani of Mumbai Crime Branch, API Kolhatkar of Thane police Anti-Extortion Cell, Senior Inspector Ramesh Khankhal of Chembur Police Station and one Crime Branch constable, have been reportedly named in the report that Mumbai CP D Sivanandhan has sent to the Home Department, seeking action.
The five policemen are alleged to have attended the party organised by an NCP politician at Chembur Gymkhana, which was also attended by Chhota Rajan men D K Rao, Farid Tanasha and Sunil Potdar, alias Potya.
A senior police officer said: "These officers knew the background of the person who had organised the party and his proximity to the Rajan group. They should not haveattended the party at all. But, they may not have been aware that members of the Rajan group would also be there."
The Crime Branch reportedly recorded statements of persons who attended the party, and also collected pictures and video taken at the party which reportedly shows the presence of these police officers.
Sources said after the recommendation for suspension of these officers was made by the CP, Home Minister R R Patil and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had a meeting over the issue and it was decided to take strict disciplinary action to serve as a lesson to the rest of the force, reports Mumbai Mirror.