Singh had sent a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray claiming Deshmukh had ordered (now-dismissed) API Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore per month from bars and hotels in Mumbai. The messages between Patil and Singh discuss the former’s meeting with Deshmukh and his private secretary Sanjeev Palande and their alleged demands for money to be extorted from bars and restaurants. Waze’s meeting with Patil and Deshmukh also figured in the messages.
The city crime branch on Saturday filed the first chargesheet in an extortion case against Singh, Waze, Riyaz Bhatti, Aplesh Patel and Chinto Singh on complaints of hotelier Bimal Agarwal. Patil, now posted at Anti-Corruption Bureau, said he first met Singh while he was posted in Konkan region in 2009 when Singh was IG, Konkan range. Patil said he was posted in Mumbai in 2019. In March 2020, Singh took over as Mumbai police chief and posted Patil with him at the social service branch. “Once Singh called me and asked whether he knew API Waze, for which I denied knowing him. Singh expressed surprise and said he is new to the city and asked me to keep a tab with him and carry out day-to-day operations. On Singh’s instruction I met Waze, but I didn’t feel proper but as it was CP’s order so I just followed it,” said Patil.
Patil said in December 2020, Waze called him and asked him to come to his office immediately though Patil asked him the reasons, which Waze did not reveal. “I went to Waze’s CIU office where there were 10 to 12 hoteliers sitting, including hotelier Mahesh Shetty and Jaya Pujari,” he said. Waze introduced Patil to them. Patil said Waze asked him how many beer bars and orchestra bars there were in Mumbai, for which Shetty said there were 250 orchestra bars, of which only 180 were functioning. “Waze said they need to collect haftas from all these bars for No.1 (Singh). I told him not to involve me or my office in hafta collection, for which Waze said I should just carry out my duty, he will do his, and I left his office,” said Patil.
Patil said on March 20, Singh wrote the letter to the CM and annexed the WA chats between him and Singh dated March 13 and 19. “Singh had messaged me on WhatsApp and asked me to immediately reply. I called up Singh and asked him what these replies were for. Singh ordered, “Tumhe yeh karna padega (You have to do this). I replied to him under duress. A day after he was transferred to home guards, Singh again called me on WhatsApp and asked me to immediately reply to his messages. I followed his order as I knew him for 10 years and as he was at a higher post,” Patil said in his statement.