Param Bir Singh transferred, Nagrale new Mumbai Police chief

Param Bir Singh

Param Bir Singh was removed as Mumbai Police chief on Wednesday and moved to Home Guard, in another development in the Ambani bomb scare case. The announcement was made by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

Deshmukh further stated that senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale, holding additional charge of Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP), will replace Singh and be the new Mumbai Police Commissioner.

Param Bir Singh’s transfer comes in the backdrop of the arrest of Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze by the National Investigation Agency over its probe into the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence, Antilia.

Deshmukh, who met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier in the day, made the announcement on Twitter, amid speculation in the media over Singh’s handling of the Sachin Vaze episode.

The Antilia bomb scare case has put the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government in a fix as the alleged involvement of now-suspended Sachin Vaze in the conspiracy to park an explosive-laden SUV outside the Ambani residence and the death of the vehicle’s owner, Mansukh Hiren, has left the police force and state government red-faced.

Anil Deshmukh and Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had been under fire and sources said that the state government was upset with Singh’s handling of the case. Adding to the state

government’s troubles, the NIA, which is probing the case, has recovered the white Innova car that had been tailing the explosive-laden Scorpio on the night it was found parked outside Ambani’s residence. The Innova was recovered from the Mumbai Police Commissionerate office. According to television reports, the car allegedly belongs to the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Mumbai Police. 

On Tuesday night, Home Minister Deshmukh, DGP Nagrale and Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at his residence.

The meeting came after NIA IG Anil Shukla revealed that the agency had seized a black Mercedes-Benz which used to be driven by Sachin Vaze. From the Mercedes car, the NIA recovered the number plate of the Scorpio car, over Rs 5 lakh in cash, a note counting machine and some clothes. An investigation is on to ascertain who is the original owner of the luxury car, the NIA IG said.