In a sensational twist to the Antilia bomb scare case, an explosive letter written by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has emerged that levels serious extortion charges against state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

In the letter, Param Bir Singh reportedly states that Deshmukh had asked suspended Mumbai Police inspector Sachin Vaze to extort Rs 100 crore from restaurants, bars and other establishments in the city every month.

The letter reveals that the former police commissioner had timeĀ and again expressed reservations to the chief minister with regard to political interference by Deshmukh in law enforcement.

Param Bir also alleged that Deshmukh called several Mumbai Police officers, including Vaze, to his personal residence to give directions to adopt a specific course of action in police investigations.

Calling the acts of police interference as unconstitutional, Param Bir Singh said that he came to Uddhav Thackeray a number of times and apprised him of what was going on.Ā 

He wrote in the letter that in one of the instances, during the briefing sessions in the wake of the Antilia incident held in mid-March, when he was called late evening to Varsha to brief the chief minister he had pointed out several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged in by the home minister.

Param Bir also reportedly updated Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar about the same.

The former top cop claimed that Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the crime branch, was called by Deshmukh and asked to assist in the collection of funds for him.

In mid-February, Deshmukh allegedly called Vaze to his residence and told him to accumulate Rs 100 crore a month. The home minister allegedly told Vaze to target 1750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.

Param Bir Singh, in his letter, claims Deshmukh told Vaze that if Rs 2-3 lakh was collected from each establishment every month, over Rs 42 crore could be collected and that rest of the collection can be made from other sources.

Responding to the allegations, Deshmukh took to Twitter to say that "While the involvement of Sachin Vaje in the Mukesh Ambani case as well as in the Mansukh Hiren murder case is becoming clear, its threads are likely to reach the then Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh. Param Bir Singh has made this false allegation to save himself as well as to protect himself from further legal action."

The Maharashtra Home Minister has much to answer in the time to come.