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Rakesh Maria appointed Mumbai's new police commissioner

After a prolonged delay, the Maharashtra state government finally declared the Mumbai police commissioner on the last day given by the Election Commission. Rakesh Maria, a 1981 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was declared as the Mumbai Police commissioner yesterday.

Earlier commissioner Satypal Singh resigned to join Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). While Vijay Kamble was declared Thane commissioner, KL Prasad was appointed as commissioner of Navi Mumbai. AK Sharma was removed as commissioner Navi Mumbai before his term, as his name had cropped in the Lahoria murder case. Gulab Rao Pol was replaced by Satish Mathur as Pune commissioner as Pol was unable to crack the Narendra Dabholkar murder.

Who is Rakesh Maria?
Maria has an excellent track record, having tremendous knowledge of crime and terrorism in the city. “He has worked on several sensitive cases such as the 1993 Bombay serial blasts where he almost arrested 150 accused, 2003 Gateway of India blast, Zaveri Bazaar blast, Ghatkopar blast also interrogated 26/11 terror accused Ajmal Kasab, who was later hanged. He has vast knowledge of the city and terror and underworld,” said a police officer from the crime branch.

Maria has worked as superintendent of Buldhana, Akola, Raigad, DCP Traffic, DCP crime, Additional commissioner of police, crime, Joint commissioner of police, crime, Anti-Terrorism squad chief of Maharashtra.

“This is a win-win situation for Nationalist Congress Party as Maria is considered to close to them and the Congress was trying to avoid him but the contender Vijay Kamble, who was senior to Maria, lacked having experience of the crime world in the city. Maria is a very strict and shrewd police officer,” said a police officer.

Maria has also inspired many roles in movies. Kay Kay Menon played his role in Black Friday, while in Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, the character of Ajay Lal is based on Maria. Maria’s father is a producer in Bollywood.

Will Kamble resign?
Earlier Ahmed Javed, KP Raghuvanshi, Vijay Kamble, PK Jain, Satish Mathur, AK Sharma, Rakesh Maria and Meeran Borwankar were contenders for the CP’s post. While Javed and Raghuvanshi were promoted to Director General’s post, Maria overtook Kamble, Jain, Mathur and AK Sharma. “When Kamble was given so many awards for his good work, should he be not given Mumbai CP post? He has now been given Thane CP’s post. He is feeling dismotivated,” said a source close to Kamble. Kamble was unavailable for comment.

Musical chairs

>> Former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Dr Satyapal Singh resigns on January 30

>> Immediately after, Joint CP (administration) Hemant Nagrale is given the charge of the vacant CP post

>> Police Establishment Board holds its first meeting on Februay 10

>> On February 10 night, they submit a report recommending Vijay Kamble to head Mumbai Police Department

>> On February 14, a contender for the vacant CP post Ahmad Javed is promoted to Director General of Police from Additional DG of Police

>> On Saturday 15, Rakesh Maria is declared as the new Commissioner of Police
- Inputs by Ravikiran Deshmukh

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