Two days after Param Bir Singh was shunted out from the post of Mumbai police commissioner, the Shiv Sena on Friday defended him saying that his transfer does not make him a criminal, and alleged that a "particular lobby in Delhi" was upset with him as the TRP scam came to light during his tenure.
The ruling party in Maharashtra also questioned the move of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) taking over the probe into the explosives-laden SUV found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house last month, saying that the agency generally investigates terrorism-related cases, but there was no terror angle involved in this episode.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday transferred Singh, who was under fire over handling of the Ambani-SUV case, and appointed senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale in his place.
"A vehicle containing 20 gelatin sticks was found on Mumbai's Carmichael Road, which has triggered blasts in the state politics and administration in the last few days. Param Bir Singh was removed as Mumbai police commissioner and senior officer Hemant Nagrale was appointed in his place. These are not routine transfers," the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
The explosives-laden SUV found near Ambani's house and the suspicious death of Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the vehicle, are worrisome. The opposition BJP has raised some questions over it, but while the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was probing the Hiran death case, the NIA took over the investigation (into the vehicle found near Ambani's house), it said. Hope its motive is not to malign the state government, it added.
"The NIA generally probes terrorism-related cases. But there is no terror angle involved in this case and still it stepped in. However, the outcome of the agency's probe into the terror attacks of Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama is still a mystery. The 20 gelatin sticks found in Mumbai appears to be a big challenge for the NIA," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
It said that Param Bir Singh had taken over as Mumbai police chief during the difficult time of coronavirus pandemic and boosted the morale of the police force.
"During his tenure, the television rating points (TRP) scam came to light. A particular lobby in Delhi was upset with him over that," it said. Now, Singh has been transferred, but it does not make him a criminal, the party added.
It also accused the opposition of politicising the death of Hiran and lowering the morale of the state police. "At least considering the prevailing situation, no one should commit such a sin. If the opposition feels it can gain power through such means, it is wrong," the Sena said.
The opposition seeks to know the political bosses in the Hiran case, it said, adding that they should themselves find it out. "There are no political bosses in such cases. This is not the culture of Maharashtra," it said.