The coming days are going to be tough for Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed the Anti-Terrorism Squad to probe the allegation Khadse received phone calls from fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s house in Karachi. “Both I and the chief minister wanted the matter to be investigated…so the chief minister has asked ATS to probe it,” Khadse said .
Khadse, the senior-most BJP leader in the state cabinet, claimed he had documents to prove that his mobile phone was hacked to show as if calls were made, and added that he would hand over all the evidence in this regard to the investigating agencies.
Recently Eknath Khadse has demanded an investigation by the Mumbai Police Cyber Crimes Cell into allegations leveled against him by an AAP leader pertaining to phone calls made on his mobile number from a Pakistan landline number registered at the residence of absconder mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.
Khadse has shot off a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking the enquiry by the Cyber Crimes Cell since his mobile number in question (Idea No. 9423073667) was out of service during the time when he purportedly received several calls from the Karachi-registered residence phone number of Dawood.
“Last saturday AAP leader Priti Sharma-Menon held a media briefing where a Vadodara-based techie Manish Bhangale said he had hacked the website of Pakistan Telecommunications to make the (above) allegation against me,” Khadse said in his letter to CM.
He pointed out that his mobile number was switched off September 5, 2015 to April 5, 2016, and there were no incoming or outgoing international calls from that number. In this connection, he had secured the records of the Idea Cellular Co. proving that the number was switched off.
“However, though my number was switched off, it appears some hacker has used the Internet connection to clone my SIM card and use my number illegally,” Khadse claimed.
Bhangale has admitted to hacking the Pakistan Telecommunications website and procuring the information from there, which is violative of the IT Act’s sections 65 and 66F-1B, he said.
Moreover, instead of passing on the information to police, Bhangale made it public in a press conference, which raises question on his intentions, the minister said in the letter.
Accordingly, he sought Cyber Crimes Cell police investigation into the entire phone calls matter, against Sharma-Menon, Bhangale and their associate Jayesh Dave, followed up with appropriate action.
Last Saturday, the AAP made the sensational claim that Khadse received calls on his mobile from the don’s Karachi residence phone number (021-35871719) between September 5, 2015 to April 5, but the minister rubbished the allegations.
Sharma-Menon said Bhangale, an “ethical hacker” had brought it to the notice of Vadodara police but they did not initiate investigations and later he faxed the details to Prime Minsiter’s Office on April 29.
She followed it up with a meeting with Fadnavis on the issue and Bhangale met Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Padsalgikar on May 19, for submitting the details.
Terming it “a very serious issue”, the AAP demanded an enquiry into Bhangale’s revelations and sacking of Khadse to ensure a free and fair probe.
Earlier , Maharashtra’s Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse claimed he has information on the case from Pakistan, which he will present to the Mumbai police. Speaking to reporters, Khadse said information about the address from which the alleged calls were made, the real identity of the person who called and the address of the caller have been identified and submitted to the authorities.