Transfers of IAS and IPS officers usually do not elicit a strong reaction from citizens. However, after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis signed an order for the transfer of 37 IPS officers on Monday, nearly 200 Mumbaikars took to the streets yesterday, and several others made their unhappiness known on social networking sites, to protest the transfer of Government Railway Police (GRP) Commissioner, Dr Ravinder Kumar Singal.
On Tuesday morning, over 200 women and youngsters took out a rally in Ghatkopar. (Inset) GRP Commissioner Ravinder Kumar Singal
The government has decided to move Singal to the post of Special IG (Training), and his post will now be taken up by Madhukar Pande. Singal took charge as commissioner in August, 2014. According to commuters and railway activists, the 1996 IPS batch cop began learning the ropes as soon as he joined and tried to understand the issues faced by passengers.
“He tried his best to bridge the gap between passengers and the GRP staff. He would take complaints from people without hesitation. He even started a Facebook page where people could simply post their complaints and action would be initiated against culprits.
He was always available to listen to people’s grievances on WhatsApp and his mobile phone,” said Nagmani Pandey, a railway activist from Vashi. Pandey has written letters to the President, Prime Minister and Maharashtra chief minister, asking that Singal’s transfer order be rescinded.
In the morning yesterday, over 200 women and youngsters took out a rally in Ghatkopar. Sangita Koshti, a police personnel’s wife, said Singal has been a mentor for GRP staffers and their wives “From the time he has taken charge, he has done a lot for us.
He encouraged women to stand on their own feet. He even started centres where people could learn vocational skills like stitching, etc.” People are also voicing their dissent online and in letters to the chief minister. Hundreds of tweets protesting Singal’s transfer have appeared on Twitter.
“We want to acknowledge and appreciate the exemplary work done by the commissioner. The news that he is being transferred just nine months after taking charge has come as a shock to us. It is unfortunate for railway passengers. I have written to the CM and we are in talks with other associations to protest this untimely transfer,” said Ketan Shah, founder president of Andheri Borivli Rail Yatri Sangathan.
Residents of Dombivli have started a signature campaign as well. “We want Ravinder Singal as our commissioner, and are requesting the state government to reconsider their decision related to his transfer,” the Eagle Brigade, an association of local residents, said in a statement. When mid-day spoke to Dr Ravinder Kumar Singal, however, he said, “Orders will be followed.”