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Suspended top cop claims innocence in Hasan Ali CD episode

Mumbai: The suspended senior IPS officer, accused of secretly filming the interrogation of Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan and leaking its doctored CD, has said that he was made "scapegoat" and the action being initiated against him may be to "hush up" the entire case.

"Days after I expressed my willingness to help the Enforcement Directorate in Hasan Ali Khan case, I was suspended. Moreover, I was also due for promotion. I sense that this was done to me so as to hush up Hasan Ali`s case. I also believe there are some other reasons as well for my suspension," Ashok Deshbhratar, suspended DCP (Government Railway Police), told PTI.

Khan, the Pune-based stud-farm owner, has been arrested on charges of stashing away huge amount of black money in foreign banks.

Deshbhratar was accused of conducting a sting operation and making a CD of the interrogation of Ali in a fake passport case when he was arrested in Mumbai in 2008.

In the CD, Khan was shown boasting of his `links` with top leaders of Congress and NCP and how the decision to appoint Hassan Gafoor as Mumbai police commissioner was taken at a meeting in a suburban five star hotel, police said.

After Deshbhratar`s suspension, Home Minister R R Patil had said, "It has been proved in the (CID) investigation that the police officer had doctored the CD with an intention to malign the government. He did not pass on the information about his secret interrogation to his?superiors which proves his ulterior motive."

"I was made scapegoat and I had nothing to do with either filming the interrogation or leaking the CD," Deshbhratar said.

"I don`t know who had filmed the interrogation. But I strongly suspect that an IPS officer, currently retired, had ensured that the CD be leaked to media to malign the image of Hasan Gafoor," the 55-year-old added.

The DCP (GRP) said that the retired IPS officer had used his shoulders to fire at Gafoor in which he succeeded.

Gafoor, who also retired as Director General of Police (Anti-Corruption Bureau), was front runner for the DGP post in the state but could not make it to the top job.

"I had submitted a report to Home Minister R R Patil sometime back mentioning who could be behind the entire episode. I gave name of the retired police officer and his aide in the report but still had to face suspension which is very unfortunate," Deshbhratar said.

The aide of the retired police officer was no one but a former policeman, who had been discharged by the court on grounds of insufficient evidence in connection with the mysterious disappearance of Khwaja Younus, a Parbhani-based software engineer, who was picked up by Mumbai Crime Branch in connection with the 2002 Ghatkopar bomb blast case, he said.

"I have lost hope on this government. I don`t want to fight for the job now," Deshbhratar said.

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