Friday, August 24, 2012

Under pressure, CM moves Patnaik out as city top cop

Ally NCP Has Its Way, Victory For Raj Too 

 

Prafulla Marpakwar & Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, after getting orders from the Congress high command on Thursday, bowed to his coalition partner NCP’s pressure to abruptly shunt out Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik by promoting him to the director general rank and replacing him with Satya Pal Singh, the additional director general (law and order). 

    Patnaik’s transfer as the head of the Maharash
tra State Security Corporation comes barely 48 hours after MNS chief Raj Thackeray took out a protest rally calling for his resignation for “mishandling” the August 11 violence in south Mumbai. But Patnaik’s replacement, Singh, who was moved out from Pune as the police chief five months after the German Bakery blasts, may hold the post for a mere six months as he will be due for promotion as director general after DG (home guards) Sridevi Goel retires in March 2013.
  
  Patil, who announced the promotion and transfer, tried to underplay it saying it was a routine transfer. “It was not a political move. It has got nothing to do with August 11 and Raj Thackeray’s subsequent rally to demand his resignation. He has been transferred on promotion,” he said.
 
    Expressing satisfaction over Patnaik’s transfer, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief said, “The police commissioner let Mumbaikars down on August 11. He failed in his duty as Mumbai’s guardian. He had to go. I am happy the DF government accepted my party’s demand.” My uniform is my religion: Satya Pal
 
    Raj Thackeray has now trained his guns on R R Patil. “If Patil is unable to handle the home department, he too should quit,” he told TOI from Pune.
    After taking over the reins of the Mumbai police, Satya Pal Singh said he was grateful to the state government for entrusting him with a great responsibility. “My uniform is my religion, nothing else. The confidence of the police force was shaken after the August 11 riots. I will revive that confidence in the force. I will give the Mumbai police an impartial and fair leadership,” he said. But he refused to comment on the po
lice action post-violence.
    Singh, a doctorate in terror studies and an active blogger and author of a few books, said the city police were going through difficult times. “Giving moral support to my
officers will be my priority. I will focus on targeting antinational elements, terrorists and anti-socials. I also know that people are not happy and I will try and revive their faith in the police,” he said.

    On action against the August 11 rioters, Singh said, “We should not become prisoners of our past. Our investigation is on.”     Meanwhile, a legal objection has been raised over the new assignment for Patnaik. According to the provisions of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation Act, 2010, the managing director should be of the rank of additional director general or inspector general, but Patnaik is of the rank of director general. 

    “Without upgrading the post, the government has appointed Patnaik to that post. It appears to be illegal,” a senior official said.
    (Inputs from Ambarish Mishra) 
 
Times View: Police chief must inspire confidence
M umbai has seen nine police commissioners in the last 10 years or so. That augurs ill for a city of over 12 million that wages a grim battle against crime and terror almost every day. The blatant politics behind the appointment (and removal) of the police chief and the pressures that are put on the incumbent to toe his masters’ line make a mockery of this top job. If police chiefs are to be changed at the whims and fancies of the political class, whom does the Mumbaikar turn to? One suggestion seems worth following: Let the government upgrade the CP to the rank of director-general: this will pre-empt arbitrary transfers and give the police chief a much-needed breather. At the same time, the CP must inspire confidence not only in his superiors, but also win the hearts of his force, and the trust of the citizens.

CHANGE OF GUARD

Arup Patnaik: IPS 1979 batch. Took charge on February 28, 2011. Came under political pressure for mishandling August 11 violence in south Mumbai
Current Posting: Promoted and transferred in the rank of DG to head Maharashtra State Security Corporation


Satya Pal Singh: The 56-year-old 1980 batch IPS officer was born on November 29, 1955, at Basauli in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh Earlier Posting: Prior to becoming Mumbai police chief, was additional DGP (law and order) 
 
 
The Times of India, August 24, 2012

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