Mumbai: Indradev Pandey
In a major reshuffle amid a raging controversy over an intelligence report alleging that middlemen were influencing transfers of police officers in the state, 86 Mumbai Police officers, including 65 from the Crime Branch alone, have been transferred to different posts in the city. The move comes in the backdrop of the recent controversy over police officer Sachin Vaze’s arrest by the National Investigation Agency for allegedly parking an explosive laden vehicle in the vicinity of Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
All the transferred officers were stuck in the crime branch for years. The Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) officers, who have been transferred, include API Riyazuddin Kazi and API Prakash Howal. The CIU is a unit in the Crime Branch which was earlier headed by Vaze and was in the middle of the controversy. After Vaze’s arrest, the NIA had searched
CIU’s premises at police commissioner’s office at Crawford Market; both Kazi and Howal were questioned by the NIA earlier. Kazi has been transferred to the Arms wing and Howal to Malbar Hill Police station.
The newly appointed Mumbai Police commissioner Hemant Nagrale had hinted at a major reshuffle as soon as he took over last week. The transfers have been effected under the Maharashtra Police Act section 22 (N) (,2) which empowers transfers in exceptional cases in public interest. The order has been passed by the joint commissioner of police (administration) Rajkumar Vhatkar. State home minister Anil Deshmukh met CM Uddhav Thackeray at Varsha at 7.30 pm on Tuesday. This is their maiden meeting after Param Bir Singh’s letter bomb. Tuesday’s transfers were sanctioned at the level of the Mumbai Police Commissioner while keeping CM Thackeray and HM Anil Deshmukh in the loop.