INDIA. Mumbai: DGP Hemant Nagrale was appointed as the new commissioner of Mumbai Police, in place of existing commissioner Param Bir Singh, following the controversy that arose after an explosive-laden vehicle was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in South Mumbai on February 25, 2021.
Senior IPS officer Rajneesh Seth, who is the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, has been given the charge as acting Director General of Police (DGP).
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told media persons that Param Bir Singh has been shifted as DG, Home Guards. The decision came against the backdrop of the meeting between NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday.
Param Bir Singh, a 1988 batch IPS officer had taken over as Mumbai Police Commissioner in February 2020. He had handled the TRP case, actor Sushant Singh Rajput death case, and other important cases. Singh had also worked as the Thane Police Commissioner earlier.
The 58-year-old officer Nagrale had taken over the charge as Maharashtra’s Director General of Police in January 2021. He earlier served as the Navi Mumbai police commissioner from May 2016 to July 2018. He also worked as the Joint Commissioner Of Police (administration) in the Mumbai police force, special Inspector General (admin) in the DG office, and Special Inspector (general) at the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). A 1987-batch IPS officer, Nagrale had also served as Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Superintendent of Police (CBI) during his central deputation.
During the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, he along with four other policemen entered Hotel Taj Mahal Palace at Colaba in south Mumbai and helped the injured and dead to be shifted to nearby hospitals. At that time, while on the lookout for suspicious objects, he spotted and inspected an RDX (explosive) bag. He removed it to a safer place and summoned the bomb disposal squad.
Param Bir Singh
Singh was shifted out given the ongoing investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) about the recovery of gelatin sticks from Scorpio jeep outside Ambani’s residence “Antillia” in South Mumbai on February 25 and the suspicious death of automobile dealer Mansukh Hiren in Thane on March 05, 2021. Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze of Mumbai Police has already been arrested and is in NIA custody till March 25. The case is being investigated by the NIA and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police.
However, the easy access to the cars used by Vaze allegedly changing their number plates, into Mumbai police headquarters has shown Mumbai police in a bad light. The Opposition BJP had created a ruckus in the recent budget session of the state legislature demanding immediate arrest of Vaze.
In the meanwhile, NIA has questioned nearly seven policemen of the Central Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Mumbai Police headed by Vaze. While explosive-laden Mahindra Scorpio and another vehicle- Innova was taken over by the NIA earlier, another car-Mercedes which was used by Vaze was confiscated by NIA on Tuesday. On Wednesday, NIA officials also recreated a scene of how Vaze and CIU officers traveled in different cars after the explosive-laden car was detected outside Ambani’s residence.