Mumbai Police chief removed (Lead)

June 13th, 2009 - 7:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Shivraj Patil Mumbai, June 13 (IANS) Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor Saturday became the latest official to be removed in the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks. Even though Gafoor termed the move as a “promotion”, the opposition demanded the officer be charged with murder.
Gafoor has been transferred as a director general of police and will be the next managing director of Maharashtra Police Housing Corporation, state Home Minister Jayant Patil announced in the assembly.

Shortly after the announcement, Gafoor told reporters that he was “happy with my promotion and transfer”. He said he was due for a promotion for some time.

When asked whether it was on account of reported strictures in the Pradhan Committee report, Gafoor said neither he nor anybody had seen its contents so he could not comment on it.

The Maharashtra government had appointed a committee headed by former home secretary Ram Pradhan and former deputy secretary, cabinet secretariat, to inquire into the 26/11 terror attacks.

Gafoor was appointed Mumbai Police chief March 1, 2008, and was in the post for nearly 16 months before his transfer.

The government has not yet announced the name of the new police commissioner.

The terror attacks have already seen a trail of big heads rolling, including former union home minister Shivraj Patil, former state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and former state deputy chief minister R.R. Patil, who held the home portfolio at that time.

However, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Ramdas Kadam of Shiv Sena was not satisfied by the developments.

Blasting the Democratic Front government, Kadam dismissed the contention that Gafoor has been “promoted”, and told media persons this was an attempt by the government to shield itself from the opposition attacks over the 26/11 terror strikes.

Kadam demanded that the police commissioner be slapped with murder charges.

“We are very happy and so are the victims of the terror attacks. If (Shivraj) Patil, Deshmukh and (R.R.) Patil could be removed, what prevented the government for so long to remove the police commissioner?” he demanded.

The opposition has alleged that the Pradhan Committee had given a clean chit to Mumbai Police and demanded tabling of the report.

The Democratic Front government, refuting the Opposition accusations, said the report would be tabled along with an action taken report (ATR).

For the purpose it appointed another two-member committee led by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar.

The government is expected to table the Pradhan report and the ATR in the Maharashtra legislature early next week.

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