Mumbai, Oct. 24: A day after a politician accused “encounter specialist” Daya Nayak of having underworld links, Mumbai police today grilled another player in the controversy, former journalist Ketan Tirodkar.
Police sources confirmed that deputy commissioner of police Sandip Vaishnavi had questioned Tirodkar at the Crawford Market headquarters of the Crime Prevention Unit. He was grilled for about six hours.
Vaishnavi has asked the former crime reporter to produce evidence in the form of documents, witnesses or recorded conversations to substantiate his charges against top cop Nayak.
Last Thursday, Tirodkar had barged into Bombay High Court and charged Nayak with close ties with the underworld. His petition said the officer was close to elements in the Karachi- and Dubai-based underworld and had executed business deals on their behalf.
The police gave Tirodkar time till Tuesday to produce “additional evidence” in support of his allegations against Nayak and some other top officers.
The Dal (S)’ national general secretary Mohammad Rafiq Shaikh yesterday said he has “recorded evidence” of Nayak’s alleged links with the underworld. The tape purportedly contains a conversation between one of Dawood Ibrahim’s trusted lieutenants, Fahim Machmach, and a city-based businessman, R.C. Agarwal, where Nayak’s name crops up as a “friend”.
Copies of the tape have been sent to chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Mumbai police commissioner R.S. Sharma, former chief justice Ranganath Mishra and the human rights commission in New Delhi.
Today’s questioning was the first concrete follow-up action initiated by Mumbai police since the controversy broke in the first week of September. Police sources said their commissioner has ordered Vaishnavi to immediately record Tirodkar’s statement. It has been learnt that Shinde has asked the commissioner to get to the bottom of the case.
Nayak has categorically refuted the claims of both Tirodkar and Shaikh and said these were part of a larger conspiracy to defame him and the police department. He accused Tirodkar of springing the charges at the behest of Dawood as he was an underworld mole.
Tirodkar has confessed playing a “bridge and broker” between the underworld in Mumbai, Karachi and Dubai and allegedly some top Mumbai policemen. He has accused Nayak of taking favours from Chhota Shakeel and Machmach.
Tirodkar has said he “wants” to go to jail but “will take them (partners in crime) with me”. Both Tirodkar and Mumbai police have filed petitions against each other in Bombay High Court.