Senior Indian Police Service officer Parambir Singh on Saturday took over from Sanjay Barve as the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai.
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had on Friday announced that Mr. Barve would not be getting any more extensions to his tenure. Mr. Barve, who was appointed the city police chief in March 2019, had already received two extensions of three months each.
Mr. Singh’s appointment was officially announced by the Home Department at 12.30 p.m. on Saturday and he reached the Mumbai Police headquarters at 3 p.m. to take charge. Mr. Singh was earlier serving as Director General of the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau.
Addressing the media after taking charge, Mr. Singh said, “Mumbai is considered among the safest cities in the world. I will make it my priority to implement measures to ensure the safety of its citizens, particularly women. Mumbai has in the past witnessed blood-soaked gang wars on its streets. Today, however, the situation is different and we will try to finish what remains of the underworld.”
The 1988-batch IPS officer is still remembered by veterans for his part in bringing the rapidly worsening underworld under control in the late 1990s. As a young Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Singh headed one of the two special squads of encounter specialists tasked with taking strong action against gangsters. He added that efforts to ensure the safety of the city from terrorist elements will continue in coordination with other concerned agencies.
On the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register, Mr. Singh said, “Protesting is the right of citizens. Any protest that is conducted within the limits of the law will be respected but any instance of the law being broken will be dealt with appropriately.”
Stays predecessor’s order
Hours after he took charge, Mr. Singh stayed an order issued by Mr. Barve on Thursday to transfer 25 officers, including four Assistant Commissioners of Police. Several officers confirmed that a circular to this effect has been issued by Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Naval Bajaj. Mr. Singh and Mr. Bajaj could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Barve, meanwhile, was given a ceremonial farewell at the police grounds in Naigaon on Saturday morning. All senior officers of the Mumbai Police were present at the occasion and Mr. Barve was seen personally interacting with them after the parade.
“Mumbai Police has always been a capable and efficient force. During my tenure I have witnessed a State election and several protests, but every situation has been handled par excellence by our officers,” Mr. Barve said.