Param Bir Singh: From being Mumbai police chief to being declared ‘absconding’

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh. File photo   | Photo Credit: VIVEK BENDRE

Param Bir Singh, declared an ‘absconding accused’ on November 17 in an extortion case, is a 1988-batch IPS officer who took over as Police Commissioner of Mumbai from Sanjay Barve in February 2020. He was transferred as Director General of Maharashtra Home Guard in March 2021.

Mr. Singh entered the limelight over the arrest of BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur and Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, the two main accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case. He was then the Additional Commissioner of the Anti-Terrorism Squad.

As Thane Commissioner, he busted a major fake international call centre racket and a fake SIM card scam. In 2018, he arrested five accused in the Bhima Koregoan caste violence case in Pune. He was also the Commissioner of the Mumbai police when actor Sushant Singh Rajput died in June 2020.

In October 2020, Mr. Singh drew flak for holding a press conference on the Television Rating Point manipulation case that initially named three channels — Republic TV, Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi.

In December 2019, as head of the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau, he gave a clean chit to the current Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar, who was named in the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation project.

Mr. Singh was shunted out for ‘mishandling’ the bomb scare outside Antilia, residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. On February 25, an FIR was registered regarding the parking of an explosive-laden SUV on Carmichael Road during the intervening night of February 24 and 25 along with 20 gelatine sticks. The car also had a threat note addressed to Mr. Ambani, who is chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited.

Subsequently, another FIR was registered at the Vikhroli police station over the theft of the SUV. An accidental death report was registered at Mumbra Police Station over the recovery of the body of Mansukh Hiran on March 5 from Mumbra Creek.

Dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma and eight others were arrested in the case and are currently in jail. Vaze was with the National Investigation Agency when he reportedly used a luxury car carrying ₹5 lakh cash and a currency counting machine.

After being transferred out on March 17, 2020, Mr. Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 20 alleging former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh (who had appointed Mr. Singh as Commissioner) was abusing his position and powers to seek illegal monetary benefits.

The letter alleged instances of Mr. Deshmukh directing Vaze and others to collect ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants over a month. This led to the stepping down of Mr. Deshmukh as the Home Minister.

Mr. Singh has also been the Deputy Commissioner of Police of many zones in Mumbai and Superintendent of Chandrapur and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra. He has also served as the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order).

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 1:10:47 PM |

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