Dr Satyapal Singh (57), a 1980 batch IPS officer, is the new Police Commissioner of Mumbai. Until his appointment today, August 23, he was the Additional Director General (Law & Order).
Dr Singh is a post-graduate in chemistry and holds a doctorate in terror studies. He has worked in different capacities for Mumbai Police as well as other cities.
He was the police commissioner of Pune until July 2010, when he was transferred over a controversy surrounding the renewal of passport of minister of state for home, Ramesh Bagwe.
Dr Singh had stopped the renewal of Bagwe’s passport citing the various criminal cases registered against him.
He has a long-standing history with Mumbai Police. In 2003, he took over as Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) at a time when the police were in the midst of unearthing various terror modules responsible for the serial blasts that had just rocked the city.
It was during his tenure as Crime Branch chief that Saquib Nachan of Padga village and a few others were arrested for their alleged involvement in the serial train blasts in Mumbai in 2006.
A scholar in the Vedas, Singh is also an active blogger and has authored a few books. Dr Singh, who hails from a farmer family in Uttar Pradesh, is known as a no-nonsense officer among his colleagues.
Singh was in the midst of another controversy while in Pune. He was accused of using four police officers and 50 other personnel armed with AK-47s and self-loading rifles (SLR) to guard him.
Leader of Opposition Pandurang Phundkar levied the allegation in the Legislative Council.
Phundkar went on to allege that Singh was given specific information by various agencies such as the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and other intelligence agencies about likely terror attacks in Pune, but he did not do anything about it.