Mumbai, Sep 8: In a surprising move, Maharashtra Government on Tuesday promoted Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria as Director General (Homeguard) and appointed Ahmed Javed as city's new top cop.
Rakesh Maria, ex-Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorist Squad chief and senior IPS officer, was keenly involved in probing the sensational Sheena Bora murder case. Following his promotion, he will no longer be involved in the case.
The Home Department held the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Ganapati festival, dismissing suggestions that that it has some links with the ongoing investigation in the high-profile murder case.
"Maria has been promoted to the Director General rank and posted as the DG of Home Guards in Mumbai in place of Ahmed Javed. Javed (who was DG-Homeguards) becomes the new CP of Mumbai," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) KP Bakshi said.
An officer of the 1981 IPS batch, Maria, was last year appointed as Mumbai Police chief.
While, Ahmad Javed, who was serving as DG (Homeguard), has been appointed as Mumbai CP. Earlier last year, Javed had protested against appointment of Maria as CP. Javed had then termed Maria's appointed unjust and pointed out that he was the top contender for the post.
Maria's tenure as Mumbai Police chief was to end on Sep 30, hence eye brows are now rising over his sudden promotion and transfer from Mumbai CP's post.
Several fear Maria's exit from office will affect probe in Sheena Bora murder case for he was personally overseeing the high profile case.
Earlier, Maria claimed that he did not want Sheena Bora case to become another Aarushi murder case. Speaking to a newspaper, Maria was quoted as saying, "I will not let Sheena Bora murder case turn into Aarushi case."
Speculations are also rife that Maria has been punished not promoted, for 'Homeguard' isn't a suitable portfolio for a cop like Maria, who is often termed as Mumbai's 'super cop'.
When asked about the fate of the ongoing Sheena Bora murder case investigation, Bakshi said that all investigations are important and not only this particular case and that the work of the CP is only to supervise the investigation.
"Investigations are conducted by lower-level police officials and supervised by the CP. The new CP is competent. Also, Javed should get enough time to handle the situation in Mumbai," Bakshi said. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is away in Japan on a visit.
(With inputs from agencies)