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'Promoted' supercop Maria still to head probe

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Shee murder case takes curious turn

MUMBAI, Sep 8: Hours after he was shifted from the post of Mumbai police commissioner, the Maharashtra government said on Tuesday that Rakesh Maria will continue to head head investigations into the Shee Bora murder case.

Maharashtra additiol chief secretary of Home K P Bakshi was quoted as saying that Maria will head the probe till the chargesheet is filed in the case.

The high-profile supercop who persolly interrogated accused in the sensatiol Shee Bora murder case was transferred on promotion as director general of Police Home Guards and commandant Civil Defence. Bakshi had issued the order transferring Maria to the non-operatiol posting, widely considered as a “punishment posting” in the police force.

Eyebrows were raised as Maria swapped places with Ahmed Javed, who was appointed the new Mumbai Police Commissioner. Ahmed is a DG-rank officer and the Commissioner’s post was upgraded.

As various theories floated over the reasons for his transfer, the Maharashtra home department said the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Gapati festival, dismissing suggestions that that it has some links with the ongoing investigation in the murder case.

The development came even as Maria was heading the investigation in the Shee Bora murder case that has made headlines for the past two weeks.

The transfer orders reportedly came directly from Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadvis, said to be unhappy about the attention the police chief was giving to the Shee Bora case. Though Fadvis had lauded the police for their efforts in the murder case, he had made clear that he was not happy with the attention the case was getting from Maria. “Police have shown a lot of involvement and attention in a case which is in the media spotlight. It should pay similar attention to other cases which do not get media focus,” Fadvis had told the media.

Maria, had taken acute interest in the Shee Bora case, and had himself interrogated the accused including Indrani Mukerjea and Sanjeev Khan, which is unusual.

Maria, a 1981-batch IPS officer, was made Commissioner of Mumbai Police on 15 February, 2014. He will retire in December 2016. He first made his mark as a top traffic cop, then leapt into the limelight for his investigative skills when he led a team crack the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

He is also known for getting Sanjay Dutt to confess to his underworld links, but he is no stranger to controversy.

He was moved to the low-key Protection of Civil Rights branch in 2003 as allegations were levelled and CBI inquiries conducted over his alleged gangland connections. Maria though came out clean.

He staged a comeback and led the 26/11 Mumbai attacks investigations where he interrogated the sole surviving Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab.

Another controversy surfaced when slain officer Ashok Kamte’s wife blamed him for mishandling the security response.

His stellar record as an IPS officer saw him being made the Mumbai Police commissioner under the UPA government in February 2014. However, after the BJP-Shiv Se government took power in the state, there were rumours in police circles of Maria being at loggerheads with the new administration.

Sanjeev Khan sent to judicial custody :

Meanwhile, Sanjeev Khan, one of the three accused in the Shee Bora murder case and ex-husband of prime accused Indrani Mukherjea, was on Tuesday sent to judicial custody till September 21 by a magistrate here on Tuesday.

Khan was brought here from Kolkata on Tuesday morning and produced before the Bandra magistrate court in the afternoon.

On Monday, Indrani and her former driver Shyamvar Rai were also sent to judicial custody till September 21 after their police custody ended.

A day before his police custody was to end, Khan was on Monday taken to Kolkata for further investigation into the sensatiol murder case.

There, he took Mumbai police investigators to the spot from where officials seized the shoes used by him when the three had gone to dump Shee’s body in the forests near Gagode, in Raigad district.

Police have also recovered parts of Shee’s jewellery from there.

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