A change of guard in the Mumbai Police took effect on Saturday with 1985-batch IPS officer Subodh Jaiswal taking over the reins as the commissioner of police from Datta Padsalgikar, who will now take charge as the state director general of police following the superannuation of DGP Satish Mathur.
Jaiswal, like Padsalgikar, has had a stint with the central intelligence agencies. Posted as additional secretary (Cabinet Secretariat), Jaiswal was empanelled to the post of DG in the Union government in March this year. He has been attached with R&AW for the last 10 years. Last year, the state home department wrote to him asking if he would be interested in returning to Maharashtra. Sources said the appointment was made in consultation with NSA Ajit Doval.
Jaiswal, who retires in 2022, will follow the same career path as predecessor Padsalgikar.
Sources said Padsalgikar, who is slated to retire in August, is likely to get a six-month extension. “With the state government planning to give a six-month extension to Padsalgikar, Jaiswal will likely to continue as the CP for the next eight months. After Padsalgikar retires, as he is the seniormost officer, he would be appointed as the next DGP of Maharashtra and would have a tenure of over three years,” said a senior official in Mantralaya.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Jaiswal thanked the state government for the opportunity. “The government has entrusted me with this very important task and I am grateful. It’s my honour and privilege to head the Mumbai Police force.”
Asked what are the challenges he foresees, Jaiswal said, “The challenges we would face would be the same that any police force faces. We have to address the change in the circumstances and take it forward as and when they come. Basic fundamentals and challenges will also remain the same. Like terror — it is fundamentally a crime and we would address it in the same manner as addressed by my predecessors. They have left a certain standard of performance, which I shall endeavor to emulate.”
A low profile officer, Jaiswal has previously been with the Special Protection Group (SPG) and was responsible for the security of then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As the Gadchiroli SP, Jaiswal was known for stepping up operations against the Naxals. However, in 2001, when Jaiswal was repatriated to Maharashtra cadre for six months, he was shown “waiting” and not given a posting.
“As he was repatriated, he was no more serving the Centre. And back home, he wasn’t given any posting. He wrote to the IPS association and the issue was also brought to the notice of then state home minister Chhagan Bhujbal. It was around this same time that Bhujbal appointed him as DIG (SRPF) and also the head of the SIT to probe the Telgi scam,” said a retired officer.
The SIT, which included Jaiswal and Sri Kumar from Karnataka at the helm, arrested then police commissioner R K Sharma, who was subsequently discharged.
Jaiswal had also served as DIG (ATS) and was part of the team that probed the 2006 Malegaon blast case, in which the ATS had arrested nine Muslim men claiming that they are members of the banned SIMI outfit and carried out the blast to avenge the Godhra riots. The claim was later contested by the CBI and NIA.
Jaiswal also probed the 2006 Mumbai train blasts. As the additional commissioner of police (Central region), he handled the probe into the murder of BJP leader Pramod Mahajan by his brother Pravin.