Mumbai, Mar 17 (IANS): The Mumbai Police late on Thursday arrested a fashionista and detained her brother, both from Ulhasnagar town, in connection with an alleged attempt to 'bribe, threaten and blackmail' Amruta Fadnavis, the banker-singer wife of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The sensational developments came a day after Amruta lodged a complaint with the Malabar Hill Police Station, accusing the father-daughter duo of Ulhasnagar of 'bribe-threats-blackmail'.
Moving swiftly, the Malabar Hill Police Station (Thursday) swooped to Thane town and detained the siblings -- a professional fashion designer Aniksha Jaisinghani and her brother Akshan -- while their bookie father, the other prime accused in the case, Anil Jaisinghani, is said to be absconding, officials said.
After they were brought to Mumbai on Thursday evening, Aniksha was arrested in the case.
The matter shot to limelight after the Nationalist Congress Party's Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar raised the matter in the Assembly, while state Congress president Nana Patole termed the matter as "serious" and demanded an in-depth probe into the entire matter on Thursday afternoon.
Confirming the developments, Fadnavis assured a full investigation into the whole imbroglio and even hinted at a political conspiracy hatched during the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) regime to target and tarnish him.
Later, Fadnavis told media-persons that his wife Amruta came in touch with Aniksha some 16 months ago, how she (Aniksha) had visited Fadnavis' home several times and won their confidence.
Anishka -- who first met them in 2015, and then renewed contact with the Fadnavis family since November 2021 -- had given Amruta some designer clothes, jewellery and other accessories requesting her to promote these at her social and public shows to enable her to support her family.
Subsequently, after gaining their trust, Aniksha had tried to give a bribe of Rs 1 crore to Amruta to help get her father (Anil Jaisinghani) off the hook in a criminal case, but when the latter did not fall for it and blocked her on the mobile, she (Aniksha) resorted to threats and blackmail.
Fadnavis said that Aniksha allegedly tried to lure and trap Amruta by revealing that her father was passing on information about bookies to the police, and said the Fadnavis couple could make money by directing the police to either ignore or act against those bookies, and they would show them more routes to rake in money.
A couple of days later, Aniksha sent some video clips, voice and text messages to Amruta from an unknown manner, he added.
Fadnavis has also pointed fingers at the erstwhile MVA government, saying a lot of sensational things including some big names, politicians and an ex-Commissioner of Police, are likely to tumble out in this matter and he would speak after the investigations.
The fashionista had dropped hints of her political links and how she could get the Fadnavis couple into trouble if they did not help to withdraw the cases against her father.
"She sent two videos... in one she is shown packing money into a bag which is seen in my house and in another handing over that bag to a maid working here. We had filed a FIR but did not make it public and a forensic analysis showed that the two bags were different," Fadnavis pointed out.
The accused girl also boasted of their connections by giving names of politicians and police officials including a former city police chief, and Fadnavis suspects that the plot was hatched during the MVA rule.
While Aniksha, a law graduate, currently has no cases lodged against her, the police are checking the antecedents of her brother Akshan as also the cases filed against their fugitive father.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Patole slammed the government, saying that if the family of the Deputy Chief Minister -- who is also the home minister controlling the police department -- is not safe, how can the people of the state feel secure?