Mercurial policeman Arup Patnaik, who led the Mumbai police for over two years has been unceremoniously dumped on the backbench. Patnaik has been shunted to the side as the head of the unglamorous ‘Maharashtra Rajya Suraksha Mahamandal’ (MRSM), a new wing of the police that deals in private security for well-paying persons.
The department is not even fully functional yet, and there won't be much work for the top cop for some time to come. “I am not surprised,” said a former DGP about Patnaik’s transfer.
In a major change of face on Thursday, Senior IPS officer Satyapal Singh took over as police commissioner, replacing Patnaik. Patnaik was transferred to MRSM as Director General of the organisation, which was unheard of till now. MRSM provides security to the metro, monorail, highways, VIPs and individuals, which is quite a step down from Patnaik’s old role.
However, MRSM is soon going to transit into force parallel to the Mumbai police. The men deployed here will secure vital installations in the city and VIPs. Being incharge, Patnaik will have to keep an account of the security provided to the VIPs and ensure that their dues are paid at regular intervals.
“It is very demoralising to work on such a post. Usually whenever an IPS officer is placed at sensitive posting he has beeline of visitors waiting outside his office.
But in such an administrative post you will see hardly any visitors,” a senior Crime Branch officer from the commissioner’s office said. In the past, Hasan Gafoor, who recently died due to a heart attack, was shunted from the police commissioner’s post and was transferred to Maharashtra Police Housing & Welfare Corporation. Gafoor was the police commissioner during the 26/11 terror attacks.