Mumbai,Somendra Sharma: The state government on Monday created ripples in the Maharashtra police force by transferring and shuffling as many as 37 senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers. Even though transfers were expected to occur any time this month, the abrupt shunting-out of senior officers like Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Chief Himanshu Roy, Additional Director General of Police (ADG) (Railways) Sanjay Barve and ADG (Planning and Co-ordination) Hemant Nagrale have raised quite a lot of eyebrows in the IPS ranks.
Another move by the state government which caught everyone unawares is the separation of Economic Offences Wing (EOW) from Crime Branch. Ever since its inception, EOW has been an integral part of crime branch and was always led by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime). Now the newly-created Jt.CP (EOW) post will be independent and directly report to the Mumbai police commissioner.
Sources said Roy, Barve and Nagrale last December wrote letters to the home department alleging ill-treatment at the hands of their seniors. Nagrale had also written to the home department reportedly complaining about groupism within the IPS ranks. "These letters of dissent may have led to them being shunted to non-executive postings," said a senior police officer. Interestingly, neither of them completed the mandatory two years in their current postings.
On December 3 last year, Roy and Barve did not attend a high-level meeting convened by the Chief Minister to review the delay in installation of a CCTV network in Mumbai and utilisation of the police modernisation fund. When the then-Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Amitabh Rajan sought an explanation from Roy and Barve, they said that a few minutes before the meeting, a message from the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) had instructed them not to attend the meeting. The issue had snowballed into a major controversy and CM Devendra Fadnavis had to intervene and resolve it.
Roy has been taken out of the elite ATS posting and has been given an insignificant post of ADG (Police Housing), while Barve has been transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Nagrale has been transferred to MHADA.
"There is nothing political about these transfers. All officers were due for transfers. But there could be a few exceptions," said a senior home department official.
1994 batch IPS officer Deven Bharti who was serving as Special Inspector General (IG) Law and Order (state) was transferred to Mumbai as Jt. CP (Law and Order). Bharti replaced Jt.CP Dhananjay Kamalakar who will now head the EOW. EOW was until now headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Commissioner of Police (Addl. CP).
In other major transfers, Pune commissioner Satish Mathur has been promoted to the rank of Director General (DG) and a sixth DG post has been created. Mathur has been posted as DG (Legal & Technical) and Nagpur commissioner KK Pathak has replaced Mathur as Pune commissioner.
ADG S.P. Yadav, head of state CID, replaced Pathak. Roy has been replaced by Vivek Phansalkar, Jt. CP (Administration) (Mumbai), after being promoted as ADG. Jt. CP (Nagpur) Anup Kumar Singh replaces Phansalkar.
Jt. CP (traffic) B.K. Upadhyay has been promoted as ADG and transferred as Principal Secretary (Special) in Home department. Addl CP (West Region, Mumbai) Milind Bharambe has been promoted and has replaced Upadhyay.
DIG Vishwas Nangre-Patil who was posted with Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) got promoted to the rank of IG, but is awaiting posting.