330c. 240c. Sunrise: 06:41 am Sunset: 06:50 pm FPI INFLOWS INTO EQUITIES AT RECORD HIGH SINCE FY13 Pg 7 US PUTS CHINA ON NOTICE: NO BUSINESS AS USUAL ‘PURSUING CREATIVITY IS MY ONLY WAY OF MAINTAINING SANITY’: SUCHITRA KRISHNAMOORTHI Pg 16 HM BOMB TICKS AWAY Vol. 64 No. 276 | MONDAY | MARCH 22, 2021 | 13 Pages | ` 4 | EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, E-Paper EDIT Pg 11 Pawar favours inquiry No resignation: Jayant T SANJAY JOG Mumbai he Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who is architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, on Sunday said the decision on resignation of Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will be taken by Monday after seeking advice from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state NCP chief Jayant Patil. So, the Deshmukh ball is essentially in Thackeray’s court. Nonetheless, Pawar has called upon the state government to hold a special investigation into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh's allegations against Deshmukh, terming these charges as ‘serious,’ and suggested that such a probe can be conducted by former Mumbai top cop Julio Ribeiro. He noted, "Julio Riberio's credibili- BETWEEN THE LINES Nihangs shot in encounter Two 'Nihangs' -- traditional Sikh warriors -- were shot dead by the police during an encounter after the duo attacked policemen with swords at a village in Tarn Taran on Sunday, officials said. The two 'Nihangs', identified as Mehatab Singh and Gurdev Singh, were wanted in a murder case at Nanded in Maharashtra. After their mobile location was traced in Sursingh village, the Nanded Police alerted the police in Punjab and a team of two SHOs was sent to nab them. The two accused attacked the SHOs with swords, leaving them critically injured, the police said. Thereafter, reinforcements were rushed to the spot and an encounter ensued in which the two 'Nihangs' were shot dead. The injured SHOs -- Balwinder Singh and Narinder Singh – have been hospitalised. ty is such that no one can interfere or influence his investigation." But the NCP leader was more partisan when he said: ''The timing of these allegations against Deshmukh also has to be looked into. Why now? Singh made all these allegations after he was transferred." CONTD. ON P10 A OUR BUREAU Mumbai mid serious allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh, the Nationalist Congress Party on Sunday put up a brave front saying that Home Minis- Mansukh murder ‘cracked’, two held Arrested include a bookie and a suspended cop; Sachin Vaze is the main accused while hunt is on for main conspirator SACHIN GAAD / Mumbai A day after the ministry of home affairs (MHA) transferred the investigation of the murder of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested two persons in connection with the case on Vinayak Shinde Mansukh Hiran Covid lost in maze of numbers SWAPNIL MISHRA Mumbai The city and the state reported the highest number of new corona cases since the outbreak of the 4,000 Close to new cases in city, 30,000+ in state BJP manifesto moves into higher orbit FPJ NEWS SERVICE Kolkata It may mark the coming of age of the BJP manifesto – from mouthing mere ‘jumlas,’ the party has moved into higher orbit, of actual developmental agenda. After attending a rally and a closed-door meeting, Union Minister Amit Shah released the much-awaited BJP’s election manifesto at Kolkata’s EZCC auditorium. Highlighting the failure of the TMC in the last decade, the Union Home Minister promised to implement an ambitious developmental ter Anil Deshmukh won’t step down. After a meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his Delhi residence, state unit chief and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil scotched the buzz over Deshmukh’s resignation. "There is no question of Deshmukh's resignation. The Anti- Terrorist Squad (ATS) is investigating the Antilia bomb scare and the Mansukh Hiren case and we believe the culprit will be punished," Patil said. He alleged that Param Bir Singh's letter is an attempt to divert attention from important crimes. The ATS and the National Investigation Agency probe will come up with definite findings, he added. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, veteran party MP Praful Patel and another MP Supriya Sule. CONTD. ON P10 plan, if voted to power. Referring to himself as a businessman, Shah said that the BJP had decided on a host of projects for West Bengal, keeping the state’s Budget in mind. “If voted to power, the BJP government will, in its first cabinet meeting, take a decision on implementing Ayushman Bharat and the CAA in West Bengal. Moreover, there will be 33 percent reservation for women in government jobs. Girls, irrespective of caste, will be given free education from KG to PG. Every woman can also avail of free public trans- port,” said Shah, reading out the manifesto. At a time farmers are agitating at Singhu border for over 100 days, the saffron camp has offered to pay farmers their pending dues of Rs 18,000, which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee didn’t allow the BJP-led Central government to disburse through their Kisan Samman Niddhi yojana. “We also promise a remunerative price, so that farmers benefit. We will also give them credit cards – taking forward the party pledge of One Nation One card,” said Shah. CONTD. ON P10 pandemic, setting yet another ominous single-day record on Sunday. There were 3,775 new cases and 10 deaths reported in Mumbai in the last 24 hours, taking the total count to 3,62,654 cases, including 11,582 fatalities so far. The previous high was 3,062, reported on March 19. The doubling rate of infection dropped to 106 days from 114 in the last 24 hours and the weekly growth rate has increased 0.63 per cent. The number of active cases has surged to 23,448, with an overall positivity rate of 9.77 per cent. CONTD. ON P10 TAILPIECE When America ‘enslaved us’ S till recouping from his indiscreet remarks on ripped jeans and the need to conceal one’s knees, newly appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Sunday made another faux pas when he said it was America that enslaved us for 200 years. [Once we were enslaved by America for 200 years, it was ruling the entire world, it was said that the sun never set there. But at present, it is struggling, the death toll [due to Covid-19] has crossed grim milestones]," Tirath Singh Rawat said. The Uttarakhand chief minister was lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and the way India had tackled the Covid-19 pandemic under him when he made the gaffe. Letter bombs lay bare home truths BRIBES FOR TRANSFERS ORDER OF THE DAY T SANJAY JOG Mumbai he letters written by Param Bir Singh and Sanjay Pandey, coupled with the report prepared by former DG Subodh Jaiswal on police transfers have opened up a veritable Pandora’s box, laying bare the mess in the home department. Incidentally, in all three instances, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has been under the radar. While Singh has alleged that Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect at least Rs 100 crore from bars and ho- tels every month, the latter has denied these charges. On the other hand, Pandey in his let, ter to the state government, had expressed anger on interference in policing and transfers. His letter came after he was shifted from the Home Guards to head the Maharashtra State Security Corporation. Earlier, former Additional DG, Special Intelligence, Rashmi Shukla, who had recently gone on Central deputation, had received a nod from the former additional chief secretary (home) to monitor certain phones, especially to reveal how bribery for transfers has been the order of the day Jaiswal, who . took over as the Central Industrial Security Force Director General after expressing concern over political interference in the functioning of the police department, had submitted his report. However, the state government has dumped it, as the recommendations in the report were not made public nor was it formally announced. “With the issue again on centre stage, it is to be seen whether Thackeray initiates action to clean up the home department,’’ said a senior IPS officer. CONTD. ON P10 Sunday In a Facebook post, . Deputy Inspector General (ATS) Shivdeep Lande claimed to have solved the Hiran murder case and saluted his officers, saying this had been one of the most challenging cases of his career. The two persons arrested on Sunday were Naresh Gor, 31, and suspended police constable Vinayak Shinde, 55, who is serving a life sentence in Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case. CONTD. ON P10 In general, do not accept excuses from subordinates. Excuses are easy to make and do not cost anything. Master Choa Kok Sui PETROL ` 97.57 Per litre DIESEL ` 88.60 Per litre www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Why wait for 1 year? SANJAY JOG / Mumbai Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday issued a fresh point-by-point rebuttal of the charges levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Deshmukh said Singh could’ve filed an FIR, why had he waited for a year. The state home minister has already refuted Singh’s allegations as false and declared he will be slapping a defamation case against the former Mumbai CP Based . on the allegations made, Singh is liable for departmental action for insubordination and behaviour unbecoming of a police officer and also for false fabrication of evidence in a purportedly criminal case of illegal demand of money as per WhatsApp messages. Besides, action could be initiated against Singh for questioning the authority of the HM in calling officers and giving directions and also for making false allegations of vindictiveness and extraneous reasons and putting them forth to the media. A copy of Deshmukh’s rebuttal circulated internally is , in the possession of The Free Press Journal, further says criminal action is needed against Singh for not reporting/initiating the matter pertaining to demand of money . “That shows his being complicit in the alleged crime within the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act for attempted abetment of illegal gratification without reporting the same,” he added. Action could also be taken against the former Mumbai CP for not registering a case of suicide in the death of independent MP Mohan Delkar as per provisions of 166A (c) for refusing to register an FIR, Deshmukh said. CONTD. ON P10 ‘I won’t touch inquiry with a barge pole…’ FPJ NEWS SERVICE Mumbai Retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, who NCP chief Sharad Pawar suggested should head the inquiry into Param Bir Singh’s accusations, has refused to take the bait. “If I am asked, I will refuse. Please understand that I am 92 years old. I do not have the ability to conduct such inquiries. Even if I had the ability I would have refused, , because this is a very murky affair and it is not meant for people like me,” said Ribeiro, who has served as the Mumbai Police commissioner and the DGP of Punjab and Gujarat. The NCP chief -- possibly in good faith -- had suggested: "There has to be an in-depth CONTD. ON P10 Reg. No. Mcs/048/2018-20; RNI No. 1541/1957 M.p.c.s office Mumbai-400001 LETTER BOMB REBUTTAL About the transfer: Continuation as CP would have harmed the investigation and hence is covered under definition of ‘dubious conduct’. Alleged misdeeds of HM: Why he did not put it in writing and as CP, since he was fully empowered, why he did not initiate action? Collection from hotels and bars and instructions to Vaze: Never Talked about when the going was good and now since he is transferred, he is raising this issue. He could have reported matter to Anti-Corruption. He is fully aware of the process as he himself was DG anti-corruption. His exchange with ACP Patil of 16th and 19th clearly shows how he wanted to build up this plot after his transfer. Home minister calling officers: Home Minster is fully empowered as head of department to call any officer for discussion and meetings. Raising these issues clearly amounts to insubordination. Makes him liable for departmental action for insubordination and behaviour unbecoming of a police officer Mohan Delkar case: Param Bir’s contention for not registering case in Mumbai is completely against CRPC. Cognizance of the case has to be taken where the incident happened.