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Vaze’s Ex-Peer Among 86 Transferred by New Mumbai Police Chief

On Tuesday, Maharashtra HM Anil Deshmukh met CM Uddhav Thackeray, after which the transfers were announced.

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 Hemant Nagrale has taken over as the new Commissioner of Mumbai Police after Param Bir Singh’s transfer on Wednesday, 17 March.
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Mumbai’s new police commissioner Hemant Nagrale on Tuesday, 23 March, ordered the transfer of 86 police officers. These included a former colleague of suspended API Sachin Vaze, who was charged with sections under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the National Investigation Agency for his alleged role in the Mukesh Ambani bomb-scare case.

The move comes a week after Nagrale replaced Param Bir Singh amid heightened pressure on the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and the police force for developments in the bomb-scare case.

Sixty-five officers of the Mumbai Crime Branch have been shunted out to the traffic department and district police stations. These officers were part of several high-profile investigations, reported NDTV.

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On Tuesday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, after which the transfers were announced, reported PTI.

Deshmukh has been under pressure after demand for his resignation by opposition in the Parliament spilled over to the streets in the form of protests.

Assistant Inspector Riyazuddin Kaazi, who was Vaze’s colleague at the Crime Intelligence Unit, has been transferred to the Local Arms unit, a low-key department, the report added.

Another police officer, Prakash Howal who had been questioned by the NIA in the Vaze probe, has been transferred to the Malabar Hill police station, reported NDTV.

Vaze, who is the prime suspect in the bomb-scare case and the alleged murder of Mansukh Hiren, the owner of the explosives-laden SUV, was arrested on 13 March and was remanded to NIA custody till 25 March.

BJP spokesperson, Ram Kadam stated that this move had spared the real accused and asked for the removal of Deshmukh, the report added.

‘HC Can Address Transfer-Racket Case Developments’

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh on Monday, 21 March, had filed a petition before the apex court against his transfer to the Home Guard Department by the Maharashtra government in the wake of the bomb-scare case and his alleged proximity with Vaze.

Singh, in the plea, had also demanded a probe by the CBI into the alleged malpractices by Deshmukh. Singh alleged that the state Home Minister in February held several meetings with junior police officers, including Vaze, and gave them a target of Rs 100 crore to be collected from bars, pubs and other establishments.

Referring to the alleged ‘transfer racket’, the SC on Wednesday, 24 March, said that there were developments in the matter as had been noticed in terms of the report of Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner, State Intelligence Department, and that the high court has the requisite authority to address the same.

The top court pointed out that Deshmukh had not been impleaded as a respondent, following which, the Home Minister and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) were impleaded as respondents.

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