Barely days after a tabloid ran an expose, alleging that five top cops in Mumbai attended a party thrown by gangster Chota Rajan, the policemen in question have been suspended.

Five policemen including Deputy Commissioner of Police, V. N. Salve, were today suspended by the Maharashtra Government for allegedly attending a Christmas-eve party organised by the gang of underworld don Chhota Rajan.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has today signed the suspension order of five police officials – Mr. Salve, ACP Prakash Wani, Senior Inspector Tulsidas Khakar, Inspector Khalatkar and Constable Talu Salunke, an official in the Chief Minister’s office said.

The decision to suspend the policemen was taken by the Chief Minister after holding a meeting with Home Minister R. R. Patil, the official said. Their suspension was recommended by Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Sivanandan on Saturday.

Maharashtra government had ordered an inquiry into the allegations that besides Mr. Salve and Mr. Wani, senior police Inspector Tulsidas Khakkad, a police inspector of anti-extortion cell and a constable from Chembur police station had attended the party.

“I have recommended to the state government to initiate disciplinary action against the five policemen and suspend them pending inquiry,” Mr. Sivanandan had said.

He had also said there were “CCTV footages and photographs which may prove” that the officials were present at the party held at a private gymkhana in suburban Chembur.

The party was reportedly organised to celebrate the release of some top members of the gang. Among them were dreaded D. K. Rao, who was released from jail after 13 years, Farid Tanasha and Sunil Poddar.

The Maharashtra Home Minister had ordered the inquiry after photographs and grainy video footage purportedly showing them at the party were aired on TV channels.

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