MUMBAI: Rakesh Maria, the high-profile Mumbai Police Commissioner who interrogated the accused in the Sheena Bora murder case in an unsual action, was today shunted out of the post and promoted as Director General of Police Home Guards.
However, after the sudden action created quite a flutter, the Maharashtra government climbed down in the evening and said he would continue to "supervise" the probe.
"The government has decided that the Sheena Bora case will be continued to be supervised by Rakesh Maria, irrespective of his elevation and transfer", Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi told PTI.
On a day of high drama, Maria was replaced by Ahmed Javed, a DG-rank official, who took over as Mumbai Police Commissioner in the upgraded post. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had cleared both the appointments before he left for Japan last night.
With questions raised over the timing of the transfer, and the heat it generated in the media, Fadnavis directed that Maria be retained to supervise the investigations.
Maria, who had recently hogged limelight after a video of his meeting in July, 2014 with former IPL chief Lalit Modi in London surfaced, apparently took unusual interest when he frequently went to Khar police station for questioning the accused including Indrani Mukerjea, mother of Sheena.
As various theories floated over the reasons for Maria's transfer, the Maharashtra Home Department had earlier in the day said the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Ganapati festival, dismissing suggestions that that it has some links with the ongoing investigation in the murder case.
"Maria has been promoted to the Director General rank and posted as the DG of Home Guards in Mumbai in place of Ahmed Javed. Javed (who was DG, Homeguards) becomes the new CP of Mumbai," K P Bakshi told PTI shortly after the orders were issued.
Javed, immediately after taking over as Mumbai Police chief, said the probe into the murder case will be done in a professional way, when he was asked whether he would be investigating it personally.
"The accused are currently in judicial custody. The probe will be done with proper team work. So far as investigation goes, it is over at this point of time.
"As far as investigation which goes on in connection with evidence, I think any case which is important or having a bearing with will be monitored in the right professional way," he said, adding that all spects including the financial angle would be investigated.