After a five-year hiatus, the annual Deepak Jog Memorial award — most coveted by investigators in the Mumbai police — is set to make a comeback this year.
It was last conferred on senior inspector Arun Chavan in 2012, for cracking the murder case of senior journalist J Dey, while heading the property cell of the crime branch.
Sources in the police told HT that preparations for the function were underway. The event will be held soon after the results of the civic polls are announced.
“The selection committee has been reconstituted and the process of accepting nominations is ongoing,” said sources. They added that unit commanders (deputy commissioners of police) from the 12 zones, the crime branch and the special branch will decide upon the best detections made by their officers and relay these to the selection committee.
The committee comprises one additional commissioner of police (AdCP) drawn from one of Mumbai’s five regions, one from the crime branch and one from the special branch.
“This has been done to give each unit equal representation,” sources said. The AdCPs will make case-by-case analysis of the nominations and form a consensus regarding the best ones.
Their decision will be conveyed to the joint commissioner of police (crime), who will pick out the best among these and send the final nomination to the police commissioner, along with remarks of validation.
The award — which became an integral part of the Mumbai police’s annual calendar since 1997 — was discontinued in 2006. Jolted by the synchronised train blasts — followed by the November 26, 2008, terror attack — the process of selection, and the function itself, were pushed to the back-burner. A bruised and demoralised force was more occupied with restoring order post 26/11.
In 2011, the murder of journalist J Dey challenged the efficacy of the force, which had come under the scanner following a series of terror strikes and scams.
The crime branch rose to the occasion and cracked the case after arresting more than half a dozen criminals affiliated to the Chhota Rajan gang, in a little more than a fortnight.
“Police commissioner Arup Patnaik decided to reward the team by reviving the Deepak Jog Memorial award,” said a former joint commissioner of police, who was an integral part of the investigation. However, following Patnaik’s departure from Mumbai police, the event and the award were halted once more.
Police commissioner Dattatreya Padsalgikar decided to revive the tradition last month, said sources.
Ever since the award’s inception, officers from the Mumbai crime branch have won it more than any other investigators. Celebrated crime branch big guns such as Praful Bhosle, Vinayak Saude and Shripad Kale were some of the recipients of the award, which is just as important to the police as a service medal.
A testament to a father’s love
The Deepak Jog Memorial trust was formed in 1997 by former director general of police (DGP) of Maharashtra (1987), Suryakant Jog in memory of his only son Deepak Jog, a 1985 batch IPS officer belonging to the Maharashtra cadre. At 36, the promising officer died of heart attack on November 9, 1996 ,while he was on duty. Suryakant died last year.
The foundation constituted the Deepak Jog Memorial Award for the best detecting officer in the Mumbai police.
The award comprises a running cup and a certificate. The officers winning the cup receive a replica of the original, which is reserved for those who win the award three years in a row.
It also provides 20 scholarships each year to 20 children of policemen who died while on duty.