Mumbai top cop Arup Patnaik 'promoted' for 'mishandling' riots

The government transferred the city's top police official

FP Staff August 23, 2012 17:45:46 IST
Mumbai top cop Arup Patnaik 'promoted' for 'mishandling' riots

Hoping to save face over over its handling of a riot in Mumbai on 11 August, the government today transferred Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik to an administative post in the state police.

Patnaik has been promoted as Director General and posted as Managing Director of Maharashtra State Security (MSSC), Home Minister RR Patil told PTI. The post is largely an administrative one.

Describing the transfer as "routine administrative process", Patil said the file in connection with Patnaik's transfer was first moved by the state DG office on 6 July. The revised file was moved on 8 August, Patil said.

Satyapal Singh, who is presently Additional Director General (law and order) in the state police force, will be his replacement.

Mumbai top cop Arup Patnaik promoted for mishandling riots

Screen grab from CNN IBN

The police commissioner was accused of taking action too late against protestors who participated in the 11 August riot. The Home Department of the government had sent a recommendation to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan recommending his transfer.

However, the senior police official had also found support from some, notably activist Teesta Setalvad and former IPS official Julio Riberio, who defended his actions and said the restraint shown by the police in handling the riot had helped prevent its spread.

Two persons died and over 40 people, mostly police personnel, were injured after a large number of protestors ran riot near Azad Maidan in south Mumbai while protesting against atrocities against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar.

Over 40 persons have reportedly been arrested so far for participating in the violence.

Patnaik's transfer comes days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Raj Thackeray held a rally and protest march to Azad Maidan demanding his resignation. The Shiv Sena had also sought his resignation over the incident.

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