Row over Mumbai’s new police commissioner heats up: Two senior cops go on protest leave

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36Rakesh_MariaMumbai:  The rift within the Maharashtra Police over the appointment of  Mumbai’s top cop burst in the open  today with two prominent contenders -Vijay Kamble and Ahmad Javed- deciding to go on leave in protest against the elevation of anti-terror squad chief Rakesh Maria to the post.

Mr Maria, a 1981-batch IPS officer, was on Saturday named as Mumbai’s new Commissioner of Police, a post that had fallen vacant last month following the sudden resignation of Satyapal Singh.

The Prithviraj Chavan government simultaneously promoted the other two claimants for the Mumbai Police’s top job and shifted them to other important posts in an attempt to mollify them. Mr Kamble, who headed the traffic department, was posted as Thane’s Commissioner of Police, while Mr Javed was transferred as Director General (Home Guard) of the state.

But the move has failed to pacify the other two contenders, and they have now decided to register their protest by refusing to join their new assignments. They have, instead, proceeded on leave, leaving the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra embarrassed.

Mr Maria headed the investigations after the 1993 Mumbai blasts in which 257 people were killed and over 700 injured. He was also in charge of the investigations into the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. His appointment was being backed by Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. The Congress, however, was keen to see Mr Javed on the top position of Mumbai police. Their second choice for the post was Mr Kamble

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