Terrorism — that's uppermost on the new police chief’s mind. Tackling the menace will the topmost priority of Mumbai’s newly appointed Commissioner of Police D Sivanandan.
Sivanandan (58) took charge on Sunday morning. Formerly, he headed the state Intelligence Department.
“Whatever required will be done to ensure the safety of the city which has been witnessing periodic terrorist strikes since 1993,” said Sivanandan who took over from the outgoing commissioner Hasan Gafoor.
Gafoor has been promoted as Director General, Maharashtra State Police Housing & Welfare Corporation.
And Sivanandan, the 34th Mumbai police chief since Independence, already has a plan chalked out.
“It will be my endeavour to make the Crime Branch, the Anti-Terrorism Squad and police stations to work together to gather maximum intelligence,” said the 1976 batch Maharashtra cadre IPS officer.
During his over-three-decade-long stint with the force, Sivanandan has worked in almost all branches of police and intelligence agenciesn.
“The ultimate intelligence comes from executive police force…like constables and hawaldars. I want to have a rapport with them, touch their hearts and exhort them to put in their best,” he said.
As former JCP (Crime) between 1998 and 2001, Sivanandan was credited with decimating the underworld.
“I know 31,000 of the 40,000 present force,” said Sivanandan who returns to the city after nearly eight years. “The other 9,000 have been added over these years. I’l try connect with them.”
His other priorities, he said, are to ensure safety for women, senior citizens and minority communities.
“It is the responsibility of the commissioner to ensure a safe Mumbai. It is equally important to increase the acceptability of the force so that people feel safe and free while approaching the police,” he said.
The commissioner said he planned to review all cases where policemen had been suspended on various charges, and act accordingly. “The evaluation will be done on merit alone,” he said, adding that only a united and corruption-free force can deliver the best.