In a huge fallout of the mystery SUV case, Param Bir Singh has been removed as the Mumbai Police Commissioner, days after the arrest of city police officer Sachin Vaze by the NIA over its probe into the recovery of the explosives-laden car near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house. Hemant Nagrale has been appointed as the new police commissioner of Mumbai.
Param Bir Singh has been transferred, and will now work as DG Homeguards.
The developments come after a massive tug-of-war between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress in the past over two weeks after a SUV was found abandoned outside Antilia, the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
On Tuesday, Param Bir Singh met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Sources said Singh met Thackeray at the latter's official residence 'Varsha' here on Tuesday night.
Sachin Vaze, arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on March 13, was attached to the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the city police's crime branch till recently.
The NIA has so far recorded the statements of seven officials of the crime branch, including an assistant commissioner of police, in connection with the case related to the recovery of the vehicle with explosives near Ambani's house in Mumbai last month. The 49-year-old Vaze, credited with eliminating 63 alleged criminals in 'encounters', is also facing heat in the murder case of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the Scorpio. Hiran was found dead in a creek in Thane district on March 5.
Vaze was directly reporting to Param Bir Singh. And, it was the Param Bir-headed review committee that reinstated Sachin Vaze after 16 years despite a court order against the cop.
Hemant Nagrale has been appointed as the new police commissioner of Mumbai. He is a 1987-batch IPS officer. Previously, Nagrale served as Police Commissioner of Navi Mumbai from May 2016 to July 2018. He has also served in various capacities in the state departments and Mumbai Police. He was the joint commissioner of police-administration in Mumbai Police.
Nagrale also held additional charge as Commissioner of Police-Mumbai for a brief period in 2014. He has worked as special inspector general-administration in the Director-General office and special inspector general at Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).