Battling credibility crisis, Mumbai Police shifts out 86 Crime Branch cops


Facing the biggest crisis of credibility in its 157-year old history, the Mumbai Police has shunted out 65 officers and 21 cops from the elite Crime Branch units to various locations, as a fallout of the allegations levelled by former Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh, officials said.

The developments late on Tuesday came barely a week after Singh was transferred and Hemant Nagrale was appointed as the new Commissioner of Police as the Home Department grapples several upheavals in the past few weeks.

Among those shunted out include some of the immediate juniors to the arrested-suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), mostly to side-postings.

While API Prakash Hoval was moved to the Malabar Hill Police Station, API Riyazuddin Kazi was shunted to the low-profile Local Arms Division.

Another API Sunil Mane was sent to Mulund Police station, Police Inspector (PI) Dhiraj Kohli, probing pornography rackets, will be in the Dongri Police Station, while PI Vinay Ghorpade, who led the probe in the Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case, has been moved to the Azad Maidan Police Station.

Incidentally, a former colleague of Ghorpade, Vinayak Shinde has been nabbed as one of the prime suspected by the Anti-Terrorism Squad in the death case of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran.

Vaze is currently in custody of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case pertaining to the alleged planting of a SUV Scorpio near Antilia, the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25, followed by Hiran’s death on March 5, and both cases ended up creating a huge sensation.

Other officials shunted include PI Jagdish Sahil sent to SB-1, PI Asha Kurke to the Azad Maidan Police Station, PI Ajay Sawant to the Colaba Police Station and PI Chimaji Adhav to the Byculla Police Station.

These changes came close on the heels of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party slamming the Maha Vikas Aghadi government for ignoring a ‘Top Secret’ August 2020 report of then State Intelligence Department (SID) Commissioner Rashmi Shukla into an alleged transfer-promotions rackets involving big money between cops, politicians and middlemen.

While the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress had rejected the SID findings, the BJP and other opposition parties like Maha Navnirman Sena, Vachit Bahujan Aghadi have made varied demands like a probe into the allegations, dismissal of the MVA government, or imposition of President’s Rule after the Governor sends a report to the President.