A total of 86 Mumbai police officers were transferred on Tuesday (March 23) after a meeting between Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The development assumes significance in the backdrop of Hemant Nagrale taking over the reign of Mumbai police from Param Bir Singh recently.
Some officials were transferred to district police stations while others were moved to the traffic department. Most of the policemen transferred had handled high-profile cases before.
Among the prominent ones transferred is Assistant Inspector Riyazuddin Kaazi, who was a former colleague of suspended police officer Sachin Waze. Kaazi has been moved to the Local Arms unit, a relatively low-key department.
Prakash Howal, who too was questioned, has been shifted to Malabar Hill police station.
The mass transfers follow a series of events that started with the discovery of a Scorpio car, laden with explosives, outside Mukesh Ambani’s house in south Mumbai, on February 25. The incident snowballed into a controversy, taking the Mumbai police and the Maharashtra state government in its stride.
Waze, accused of parking the Scorpio car outside Ambani’s house, is already in the custody of National Investigation Agency (NIA) while Parambir Singh has been shunted out for “lapses” in performing his duty as Mumbai police chief. Home minister Anil Deshmukh is under pressure to resign after Singh accused him of pressurizing Mumbai cops to collect Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants.
The BJP seemed unimpressed with the transfers, saying the “real accused” are roaming scot-free. “The officers who did nothing wrong have been transferred, but what about the accused minister? We want to know when will the minister be removed,” said BJP spokesperson Ram Kadam.