A shake-up of the higher police echelons in the state has dislodged Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur. Nagpur Police Commissioner K K Pathak, who had a controversial tenure in Nagpur, the home town of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, will join as Pune police chief. Pune Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar was also on the the list of IPS officers transferred by the state home department, a portfolio Fadnavis holds.
No reason has been cited for the transfer of Mathur and Kumar before completion of their three-year term. It was during the tenure of Mathur that Pune witnessed some serious crimes including a bomb blast at a police parking lot. It has also come to light that Mathur has been “promoted” to director-general (legal and technical wing) of the state police in Mumbai. Pathak’s tenure in Nagpur was embroiled in a controversy for the rise in crime.
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IPS officer Sunil Ramananda will replace Kumar, who has been transferred — he has been promoted too — to the state criminal investigation department (CID). Both Mathur and Kumar were yet to receive their transfer orders.
Mathur said Pune was his home town and he was “satisfied” with the work he had done.
Many Puneites have a different take on his tenure. It was during Mathur’s tenure that some serious crimes including the bomb blast on July 10 at the parking lot of Faraskhana and Vishrambaug police stations, located adjacent to the sensitive Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple took place. It was also during his tenure that Muslim techie Mohsin Shaikh was murdered, allegedly by activists of radical outfit Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) in June 2014 following communal clashes that started after derogatory pictures of Maratha King Shivaji and Bal Thackeray were uploaded on a Facebook (FB) profile.
The transfer of Pathak to Pune was seen as the beginning of a tough stand against crime and a rebuttal of criticism from political rivals, allies and even within his own party of Fadnavis for his inability to curb crime in his home constituency.
Nagpur, Fadnavis’s had witnessed a spate of crimes after Fadnavis took charge as CM and he had to face questions from several quarters. The Congress and NCP had targeted him and NCP president Sharad Pawar had said, “Fadnavis should deliver results.”
Mathur said his stern action against two-wheelers riders not wearing helmets had earned him support. Mathur further said he had utilised funds sanctioned to the police department to give facilities for cops. He said the decision was taken to give an off day to cops supposed to attend court as witnesses or answer to summons.