Bhopal: The Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh Police has arrested a former Air Force Wing Commander for impersonating over the phone as Union Home Minister Amit Shah and asking the Madhya Pradesh Governor, Lalji Tandon to appoint a friend as vice-chancellor of a university, Additional Director General of Police Ashok Awasthi said.
Wing Commander Kuldeep Vaghela who is reported to have worked in the Raj Bhawan earlier got his friend Chandresh Kumar Shukla, a known Dental Surgeon, to pose as Amit Shah’s personal assistant and call the Governor over the phone.
He asked the staff to be connected to the Governor. Once the Governor came on line Waghela took over the conversation as Amit Shah and asked him to consider Shukla to be appointed as Vice-Chancellor of a medical sciences university. Shukla, who runs a dental clinic in Bhopal and has ambitions of making it big in Bollywood, has also been arrested.
According to sources in the Madhya Pradesh police, a notification for selection of vice-chancellor of Madhya Pradesh Medical Sciences University, Jabalpur was issued by the Raj Bhavan on July 29, 2019.
Chandresh Kumar Shukla had also staked claim for the post and was interviewed on January 3. Shukla had managed to have his name recommended through politicians. He then approached his old friend Wing Commander Kuldeep Vaghela, posted at New Delhi Air Force Headquarters, for the recommendation. The police sought due permission for Vaghela’s arrest.
The duo then conspired to make the hoax call on behalf of Home Minister Amit Shah to the Governor. Shukla made a call to Raj Bhavan from his mobile phone number and he took Wing Commander Kuldeep Vaghela on conference.
Chandresh Kumar Shukla told Raj Bhavan staff that he is the personal assistant (PA) of Home Minister Amit Shah, who wanted to talk to the Governor. The Raj Bhavan staff transferred the call to the Governor.
Wing Commander Kuldeep, already present at the conference, introduced himself as Amit Shah and in his voice recommended Chandresh Shukla to be made the Chancellor of the Madhya Pradesh Medical University. The Raj Bhawan staff, however, decided to crosscheck the caller’s credentials and contacted the home minister’s staff through other phone.
Police released excerpts from the conversation over the phone.
Chandresh Shukla: “I am speaking PA of Home Minister Amit Shah… Is the Governor Lalji Tandon available?”
Raj Bhawan Staff: “He is in the Raj Bhavan itself.”
Shukla: “Home Minister wants to speak with the Governor.”
Raj Bhawan Staff: “I am transferring the phone to the Governor, please…”
Vaghela: “How are you? … Chandresh Kumar Shukla ji has applied for the vice-chancellor … he is a good person … qualified for the job…”
After this conversation, the Governor got suspicious and contacted the Home Minister’s office through the staff and inquired about the phone. On learning that the call was not made from the Home Minister’s office, they asked the STF to act.
The STF investigated the case and nabbed Vaghela from Delhi and Shukla from Bhopal.
ADG Awasthi said that the accused Wing Commander Kuldeep Vaghela was an aide to a former governor in Madhya Pradesh Raj Bhavan in 2014. He was fully familiar with the functioning of the Raj Bhavan.