In a sudden decision in the midst of the Sheena Bora murder probe, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria was today promoted and posted as the Director General of Police (Home Guards) while DG-rank officer Ahmed Javed was made the police chief of the metro.
Rakesh Maria and Ahmed Javed
The Home Department held the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Ganapati festival, dismissing suggestions that that it has some links with the ongoing investigation in the high-profile murder case.
"Maria has been promoted to the Director General rank and posted as the DG of Home Guards in Mumbai in place of Ahmed Javed. Javed (who was DG-Homeguards) becomes the new CP of Mumbai," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi said.
He said that post of Mumbai Police Commissioner has been upgraded to 'Director General' rank post. He said Maria, a 1981-batch IPS officer, had been transferred with "immediate effect" and that Javed, also a 1981-batch IPS officer, will take over as the new CP today itself.
"There was no hurry in transferring Maria. It would have been inappropriate to transfer him on September 30, in the middle of the festive season as Ganapati festival, a very important event in Maharashtra would be on at that time. Therefore, we decided to advance the promotion of Maria," he said.
When asked about the fate of the ongoing Sheena Bora murder case investigation, Bakshi said that all investigations are important and not only this particular case and that the work of the CP is only to supervise the investigation.
"Investigations are conducted by lower-level police officials and supervised by the CP. The new CP is competent. Also, Javed should get enough time to handle the situation in Mumbai," Bakshi said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is away in Japan on a visit.
Ahmed has been lauded as 'a very good officer' by former top cop and diplomat J.F. Ribeiro.
Ahmed Javed, who has taken over as the new Mumbai police chief from Rakesh Maria, is well known in party circles. Javed is due fore retirement in January 2016, but may get an extension. He has been famous for attending page 3 parties and his character was even portrayed in Page 3.
Maria, on the other hand, was due for a transfer on September 31 and was trying his best for an extension of three months. He knew that he was not in good books of CM Devendra Fadnavis, and so was trying his luck in Delhi with the top order of BJP. But Fadnavis, before Maria could meet anybody, took the decision, and transferred Maria.
Former Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh, and now BJP MP, even told a news channel that Maria was shunted out to DG Home Guards as he shared close friendship with Peter Mukerjea, whose wife Indrani has been arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with her daughter’s murder case.
Maria is considered very close to Nationalist Congress Party and had superseded Javed, his senior, to become Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police in February 2014 when NCP and Congress were in power.
-- Vinay Dalvi