Hacker who got Khadse's call record doesn't turn up before ATS

The Mumbai Crime Branch had earlier recorded the hacker's statement and eventually gave a clean chit to Khadse, following which he moved the HC, seeking a CBI probe.

Mumbai: The hacker who procured call record data of a Pakistani telecom firm, purportedly showing calls from gangster Dawood Ibrahim's Karachi house to the mobile of Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, did not turn up before the police here.

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad which is probing the allegation that Khadse received calls from Dawood had summoned Gujarat-based Manish Bhangale who claims to be an 'ethical hacker'.

Bhangale's lawyer Sandesh Sawant said, "We told ATS that Bhangale would not come today to record his statement as a petition concerning the matter is before the High Court."

The Mumbai Crime Branch headed by Atulchandra Kulkarni had earlier recorded Bhangale's statement and eventually gave a clean chit to Khadse, following which Bhangale moved the HC, seeking a CBI probe.

"The same official (Kulkarni) is heading the ATS now, so there is no point in recording the statement again," the lawyer said.

ATS officials had asked Bhangale who was in Jalgaon for a press conference to go to Mumbai with them, but Sawant advised him against it so the ATS summoned the hacker today, the lawyer said.

Bhangale's petition, which also seeks protection for himself, would come up for hearing before the HC on Monday.

After facing a string of allegations, including irregularities in a land deal, Khadse resigned today, the first casualty in BJP since the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine took over pledging zero-tolerance towards corruption.

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