Urban terrorism, zero tolerance for street crime, crimes against women, children and senior citizens and public-friendly police force will be the top priorities of former Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Rakesh Maria, who assumed charge as Mumbai Police Commissioner Sunday, 15 days after the seat fell vacant.
Maria took over charge from acting police commissioner Hemant Nagrale at the Police Headquarters in Crawford Market. Former Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh had resigned from his post on January 30.
“The journey of a boy, wearing shorts and chappals and playing in the lanes of Bandra, to an IPS officer coming and taking charge of the commissioner of police, Mumbai, is a dream come true. Climbing the grand staircase towards this office and occupying this chair was exhilarating but at the same time very humbling,” said Maria.
Also present were Special Inspector General of Police Himanshu Roy, ATS, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sadanand Date, Additional Director General (Planning and Coordination) Nagrale and Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Vivek Phansalkar.
“The challenges before the force today are many. There is urban terrorism, organised crime, security of women, children, elders and street crime. I, as commissioner of police, would be discussing at length with the officers the various strategies to counter the problems that I just mentioned. One thing we are going to stress on is zero tolerance for street crime. We are going to go into the basics of policing to control crime and criminals in the city. Our aim would be to give the city a service-oriented, transparent and public-friendly police force,” Maria said.
He added that he spoke to Roy Sunday morning and assured him of any cooperation that the ATS would need.
Roy is expected to take charge of the ATS by Monday afternoon, after handing over charge of Crime Branch to Date.
A 1981 batch IPS officer, Maria has also been the head of the Crime Branch and has spearheaded the probe into the 1993 bomb blasts as well as the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. He was portrayed on the silver screen by actor Nana Patekar in the 2013 release The Attacks of 26/11.