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ATS vs Mumbai Police: Officers Defend Their Decision For Transfer

“Asking for your desired posting is a very normal thing,” says one of the cops who requested a transfer to ATS. 

Updated
India
5 min read
Pictures of police inspectors Dinesh Kadam, Nitin Alaknure, Nandkumar Gopale and Sudhir Dalvi.
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The cold war between the Mumbai Police department and the state Anti-Terrorism Squad continues even after eight officers from the city got their desired postings in the terror unit. Earlier, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Barve had issued show cause notices to 12 officers for misconduct after they approached Director General of Maharashtra Police, Subodh Jaiswal, directly for the transfer to the ATS.

Among the 12 officers, four are star investigators of Mumbai Police who have been credited with solving important cases – including the Sheena Bora murder and 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and for eliminating the underworld that once ruled the streets of the city.

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Ego Tussle Between ATS and Mumbai Police?

This clash between the ATS and Mumbai Police is being viewed as an ego tussle between the two police officers holding the top position in Maharashtra. A very senior IPS officer, on conditions of anonymity, said,

“It’s obvious that the ATS chief would want to have his trusted aides working with him. But with Barve heading the commissionerate, this would not have been possible. (Maharashtra ATS Chief) Bharti is on good terms with Subodh Jaiswal and hence, these officers decided to approach the DGP himself. The DGP granting them the permission to join ATS itself proves it. No way the Mumbai police commissioner would allow this to happen.”
A senior IPS officer

One of the senior inspectors, who has applied for transfer, defends his decision, saying that he was supposed to be transferred anyway, as he has completed his term of office.

“Everyone asks for their desired posting, and it is a very normal thing to do. There was no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments here. Every officer is comfortable working with a certain set of officers and senior. Our history goes back a long way when Deven Bharti was the Additional CP, Crime. What is the harm in asking for a posting in ATS then, when we have worked for years in the city police? It will be a new experience altogether.”
One of the senior inspectors who have sought a transfer

According to police sources, this is another fallout of the strong IPS lobby which is known to have different camps.

Even when Arup Patnaik was the Mumbai Police Commissioner, a group of IPS officers, including Bharti, had asked for a transfer out of the city as they did not get along with Patnaik.

But according to senior officers, the Mumbai police commissioner will not take the matter lightly this time. He will see to it that the officers involved are shunted out to non-executive postings. He has refused to let them go and is seeking strict disciplinary action against them too.

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Police Officers in The Eye Of the Storm

Four decorated officers who find their names in the list include – Dinesh Kadam, Nitin Alaknure, Nandkumar Gopale and Sudhir Dalvi.

All the four officers had trained under former super cop Rakesh Maria at one point in their careers and rose to fame due to their no-nonsense and daredevil attitude. They started their career when the D-Company and its rivals operated out of Mumbai city.

Inspector Dinesh Kadam

Inspector Dinesh Kadam, the most sought-after officer, started off as a sub inspector and caught former CP Rakesh Maria’s attention during the 1993 serial blast investigations. A man with a vast intelligence network, he was the one to spot the Maruti van that belonged to Rubina Memon in Worli, which blew the lid off Tiger Memon and his family’s involvement in the blast.

Often referred to as Maria’s shadow, Kadam went on to bust the Indian Mujahdeen network in 2008 and came close to arresting Riyaz Bhatkal. His role in investigating the 26/11 attacks and solving the high-profile murder of Sheena Bora, adds to his stellar professional record.

Apart from the German bakery blast case, Kadam successfully investigated the murder case of builder Pradeep Jain and was instrumental in the deportation of gangster Abu Salem from Portugal. Based on his investigation, Salem was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Kadam also played a vital role in the arrest of Afzal Usmani, a dreaded Indian Mujahedeen operative, who escaped from court.

Inspector Nandkumar Gopale

Inspector Nandkumar Gopale has been appreciated and recognised for his work in the detection and investigation of various murder cases committed by the organised crime syndicates.

The conviction of the accused in the rape and murder case of software engineer Ester Anuhya, detection of journalist J Dey’s murder case are a few of high-profile cases cracked by him. From cracking the IM module of Ahmedabad, which led to the arrest of 21 activists to arresting the accused involved in the 7/11 serial blasts in Mumbai’s local trains, Gopale has also been involved in the probe into the Surat and Delhi blast cases. 

Gopale oversaw the investigation of the 26/11 terror attacks at Cama and Allbless Hospital and Hotel Taj. He and a few other policemen were awarded cash prizes by the government after they filed a charge sheet of 11,600 pages, ensuring that the case was a water tight one; they also secured a conviction for terrorist Ajmal Kasab. Gopale received the President’s medal this year for his meritorious services.

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Inspectors Nitin Alaknure and Sudhir Dalvi

Inspectors Nitin Alaknure and Sudhir Dalvi, who were once a part of the Mumbai police’s anti extortion cell, are known for their roles in the encounter squad helmed by slain officer Vijay Salaskar – who lost his life while fighting terrorists in the 26/11 attacks. Both featured in Rakesh Maria’s star investigating team – with Alaknure also being credited for investigating the Sheena Bora murder case.

Both officers have been responsible for eliminating more than 50 gangsters belonging to Arun Gawli’s gang and the Amar Naik gang. Alaknure and Dalvi had carried out a daring encounter on the Mumbai-Kolhapur highway which resulted in the death of one Vijay Choudhary alias Pethe, who was responsible for the killing of veteran union leader Datta Samant in 1997. Alaknure was also instrumental in the extradition of gangster Kumar Pillai from Singapore, who was wanted for 17 years in eight murder cases and extortion cases.

Consequences For Breaking Protocol

All 12 officers, including Dinesh Kadam, Nitin Alaknure, Nandkumar Gopale and Sudhir Dalvi, had earlier sought a transfer to the ATS which is now headed by IPS officer Deven Bharti. According to protocol, they should have requested the Mumbai Police commissioner first and not the DGP directly. This irked Barve, who immediately issued a show cause notice asking why action should not be taken against them.

Barve’s notice states that the Mumbai police is a disciplined force and that these officers failed to follow due procedure. It further reads that it was their duty to follow protocol and to send the application through him.

Although the officers have been granted the transfer by the DGP, Barve is yet to relieve them. According to sources, he has also sought to stop their increments. Subsequently, a notice was issued by Joint CP (admin) Naval Bajaj who refrained from commenting on the issue, citing it an internal affair.

This could lead to a setback in the careers of the officers pulled up as their service record will reflect the incident. They also stand to lose promotions and rewards that they were entitled to this year.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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