Nawazuddin Does Not Have a Clean Chit Yet: Thane Crime Branch
Nawazuddin Siddiqui may be summoned again by the Thane cops in the CDR case.
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The Thane crime branch, investigating the Call Data Records (CDR) racket, on Wednesday, stated that actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui does not have a clean chit in the scam, and his role is being probed. The Thane police have also issued summons to actor Jackie Shroff’s wife, Ayesha, whose name surfaced in the racket on Tuesday.
Nawazuddin’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiqui was arrested on the night of 16 March for allegedly obtaining CDR of the actor’s wife, Anjali Siddiqui illegally from one of the private detectives arrested earlier in the case. Investigators believe that it is “quite obvious” that the advocate had taken the step on behest of the actor; however, no incriminating evidence against Nawazuddin has come forth so far.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that Nawazuddin’s brother was in touch with Rizwan over phone calls and chats,” Abhishek Trimukhe, deputy commissioner of police (crime), Thane told The Quint.
“After analysing CDR details of Nawazuddin and Rizwan, we have found that there was no direct communication between the two. However, investigations in the case are not over yet. Nawazuddin does not have a clean chit, and we are probing every angle in the case.”Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Thane
Sources said that there are “high chances” that the actor’s brother might be booked in the scam if his role is established, and if investigators find enough evidence to prove that he had asked Rizwan to procure Anjali’s CDR.
“It’s too early to say. But one wonders what Nawazuddin’s brother or his lawyer would do with his wife’s CDR,” a source reasoned.
Last week, Parambir Singh, Thane Police Commissioner had told the press, “Nawazuddin Siddiqui has no direct role in the Call Data Record (CDR) case. He was summoned as a witness, and has assured cooperation.”
However, Trimukhe, on Wednesday, stated that the crime branch will soon take a call on whether Nawazuddin needs to be summoned again for further inquiry. “We had summoned him to record his statement earlier. If investigations require, we shall do it again.”
Meanwhile, actor Jackie Shroff’s wife, former model and actor Ayesha’s name also cropped up in investigations on Tuesday when the crime branch was analysing Rizwan’s phone, which was confiscated following his arrest on March 16, said Nitin Thakre, senior inspector, Thane crime branch (Unit One).
“We discovered that Shroff had shared actor Sahil Khan’s CDR with her counsel, Rizwan Siddiqui. We suspect that she had obtained the records illegally as she was involved in a spat with Khan,” said Thakre.
Trimukhe confirmed the development, and stated that investigators are taking the new findings “extremely seriously,” and issued summons to Shroff on Wednesday. She has been asked to visit the Thane crime branch on Friday.
“Further investigations will reveal where Shroff sourced the CDR from, and if the same accused were involved. It is highly possible that these new set of investigations will uncover identities of more individuals involved in the scam – even as the Thane police is close to filing its chargesheet in the case,” said an official from the Thane crime branch.
According to the police, actor Kangana Ranaut’s name also came up in investigations on Tuesday, when officials stumbled upon a text message in Rizwan’s phone from the actress, where she had mentioned actor Hrithik Roshan’s number. Ranaut and Roshan have long been involved in a public spat over an alleged affair.
“It is not clear if Roshan’s CDR were retrieved. After the finding, we approached the nodal officer of the actor’s mobile service provider, and have asked them to search their database for any requests for Roshan’s CDR. Once we hear from the service provider, we will know if his CDR was obtained illegally. Appropriate action will follow,” said Trimukhe.
The Bombay High Court, on Wednesday, directed the Thane police to release Rizwan from their custody, observing that the police had acted in a "high-handed" manner and failed to follow "due process of law". The court was responding to a habeas corpus petition filed by Rizwan’s wife, Tasneem, who claimed that the Thane crime branch had kept her husband in wrongful and illegal custody since March 16. The court also directed senior officials of the Thane police and the state Home department to initiate appropriate punitive proceedings against the concerned officers, if they were found to be in the wrong.
The CDR scam came to light on 24 January, when Unit One of the Thane crime branch arrested four private detectives for allegedly selling CDR illegally. It was discovered that the accused - Makesh Pandiyan, 42, Prashant Palekar, 49, Jigar Makawana, 35, and Samresh Jha alias Pratik Mohpal, 32 – who were arrested from Kalwa, would sell the data for Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000.
So far, the Thane crime branch has arrested twelve people, mainly private detectives, in the scam, which includes a police constable from Yavatmal and actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiqui. Of the 12, one of the accused, Raj Pandit, a woman detective has been released on bail.
(The writer is an independent journalist, and author of ‘The Front Page Murders: Inside the Serial Killings that Shocked India’.)
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