Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief K.P. Raghuvanshi was on Thursday transferred to the post of Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order), fuelling speculation that his handling of the German Bakery blast probe could be the underlying reason for the change.

Recently, the Centre took exception to Mr. Raghuvanshi's decision to make public the arrest of two persons in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) conspiracy, and to divulge details of the investigation. Following the Centre's rap, the ATS remained tight-lipped.

In addition, with no signs of a breakthrough in the German Bakery investigation, it was reported that the probe could be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

When asked, Mr. Raghuvanshi told TheHindu over telephone: “I have been requesting the government [for a transfer] for a long time. I have already been [the ATS chief] before. How long can you be there? So I had made a request to the government. I am likely to take charge tomorrow. I am happy with the appointment.”

Mr. Raghuvanshi has been replaced by Rakesh Maria, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime). Mr. Maria has been credited with solving the 1993 blast case and has earned praise for his handling of the 26/11 incident and probe.

Transfer orders have been issued and Mr. Maria is likely to take charge as the new ATS chief next week.

Current Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Himanshu Roy has been appointed in Mr. Maria's place.