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Maharashtra govt launches manhunt for former Mumbai top cop, suspected to have fled country

Param Bir Singh (File photo)

The Maharashtra government has launched a manhunt for former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh amid speculation that he may have fled the country.

Singh had come under a cloud over the handling of the bomb scare near the house of richest Indian Mukesh Ambani earlier this year and is facing a series of extortion cases.

A week after the police could not find Singh at his home address where they had gone to serve him a bailable warrant, ," Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil told journalists that a massive search was on to track down the former police commissioner.

When asked whether Singh was in London or Russia as was being alleged some people, Walse replied, "Along with the Union Home Ministry, we're also searching for his whereabouts. I've heard something like that but as a government officer, he can't go abroad without government clearance. We've issued a Lookout Circular and if he went away, then it is not good.”

"Whether it is a minister, officer, or Chief Minister, there are limitations and without the permission of the government of India one cannot go outside the country. No one can cross these limits. What action can be taken will have to be discussed with the centre.The Maharashtra government is looking for him and once he is found we will decide," the Home Minister added.

On February 25 this year, an SUV with gelatin sticks was found at Carmichael Road, near the residence of Mukesh Ambani. The car belonged to Mansukh Hiren whose body was later found in the Kalwa creek in Thane.

Assistant police inspector Sachin Waze was named as the prime conspirator in the case of planting the explosives and the subsequent murder of Mansukh Hiren. Mr Waze was known to be close to Param Bir Singh and had direct access to him.

Singh was transferred from the post of Mumbai police commissioner in March after Mr Waze's arrest by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

After his transfer to the Home Guard department, Singh made sensational accusations against then state home minister Anil Deshmukh of asking police officers to collect bribes from hotel and bar owners, an allegation the latter denied.

But Deshmukh resigned from his post as the CBI registered a case against him.