Chief Minister upset with performance of state police force, as there has been no progress on the high-profile murders of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare; rising crime levels also a cause for concern for the state government
In a major reshuffle, the chief minister of Maharashtra has transferred around 37 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers of the Maharashtra police. Sources said the CM, who also holds the home portfolio, is upset with the police force over the lack of progress on the investigations into the murders of Narendra Dabholkar in Pune and Govind Pansare in Kolhapur. The Opposition has been gunning for the government over the slow movement of these cases.
However, the IPS lobby is happy that the transfers have come before the academic session begins in the state. Sources say that the earlier Congress-NCP dispensation used to delay police transfers, creating a lot of problems for the children of these top cops as far as school and college admissions are concerned.
The increase in crime has also been worrying the state government. The CM transferred Pune commissioner of police, Satish Mathur, who had been investigating the Dabholkar case before it was transferred to the CBI, and brought in Nagpur commissioner K K Pathak in his place. Pune’s joint commissioner of police Sanjay Kumar has been transferred to the CID. The government also moved Kolhapur division special inspector general Ritesh Kumar to the CID as he had been facing flak over the investigations into the Pansare murder case. In addition, the state transferred Nagpur DIG (prisons), Shashikant Shinde to the Maharashtra State Security Corporation, a low-profile post.
To tackle the growing number of incidents of white-collar crime in Mumbai, the state has appointed joint commissioner of police, law and order, Mumbai Police, Dhananjay Kamalakar as the joint commissioner of police, Economic Offences Wing. Earlier, an additional police commissioner had manned this post, and it has now been upgraded.
Deven Bharti has been appointed as the joint commissioner of police, law and order, and Milind Bharambe has been promoted and appointed as joint commissioner of police, traffic. Mumbai also got a new joint commissioner, administration, from Nagpur, Anup Kumar Singh.
“The CM has left to attend the Hanover trade fair in Germany, to invite foreign investments for the state. He is away for five days; after he returns, the remaining transfers of superintendents and DIGs are likely to take place, which will also be a major reshuffle. For the first time, the government has carried out transfers on time in April. We don’t mind being transferred, but if they happen on time, it helps us a lot,” said a senior IPS officer, who did not wish to be named.
Since the CM also holds the home portfolio, sources told mid-day, it has helped the police department function more effectively. In the earlier dispensation, the Congress had the CM’s post and the home minister was from the NCP. This created a lot of friction within the government machinery, due to which a lot of personnel files used to gather dust.