Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has said mistakes revealed in the probe could not be condoned, so Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to remove Param Bir Singh.
Mumbai: Param Bir Singh was replaced as Mumbai Police Commissioner because some lapses had been revealed in the handling of the Mukesh Ambani security scare that were unforgiveable, the Maharashtra government has said.
In an interview to a Marathi channel, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has said mistakes revealed in the probe could not be condoned, so Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to remove Param Bir Singh in the interest of fair investigations.
Param Bir Singh was transferred to Home Guard and Hemant Nagrale was appointed the new Mumbai police chief yesterday in a fallout of the investigations against police officer Sachin Waze arrested in the case of a car full of explosives found near the home of Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man. The investigation was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from the Mumbai Police after allegations emerged against Sachin Waze linked to the death of a man believed to be the owner of the explosives-filled SUV.
“In the investigation, certain aspects came out that could not be accepted. That is why the Chief Minister and I decided that the probe should be fair and there should not be any obstruction of justice,” Anil Deshmukh said.
Param Bir Singh’s transfer was not just an administrative decision, the minister said, in response to a question. “The probe by the NIA and ATS (Mumbai anti-terror squad) has revealed some aspects. On his (Singh’s) watch, misdemeanors by his colleague cannot be forgiven. Now whatever will be revealed by the investigation, action will be taken accordingly,” Mr Deshmukh said.
Sachin Waze was suspended after his arrest last week by the NIA.
The investigation has become a huge embarrassment for the Maharashtra government, with the opposition BJP accusing Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray of shielding Waze, a controversial cop who was once a member of his Shiv Sena.
The case involves a Scorpio SUV carrying gelatin sticks found abandoned near Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey home Antilia in Mumbai on February 25.
Waze was the first investigating officer in the case.
The NIA alleges that the number plate of the abandoned vehicle was found in a car that Waze was using. The agency also claims a person seen in CCTV footage near the Ambani home the same night was Waze. It says the fingerprints on the Scorpio matched Waze’s and that he was travelling in an Innova tailing the Scorpio car.
The SUV was traced to one Mansukh Hiran, an auto parts dealer who had reported it stolen on February 17. Hiran was found dead in a creek near Mumbai on March 5. His wife alleged that Waze had borrowed the same vehicle for four months and had returned it on February 5. She also accused the cop of a role in her husband’s death.
The NIA said Waze allegedly seized CCTV footage at his own apartment complex and removed it.