Satish Mathur, a 1981-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has been appointed Maharashtra’s new director general of police. He will take over from Praveen Dixit, who took over the job last December and will retire on Sunday. The state home department issued the order on Saturday morning after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis signed it.
Mathur, 58, has about two years to go before he retires in June 2018. He earlier headed the state’s anti-corruption bureau (ACB) for three months but the government has not named a replacement. Instead, the additional director general of police, ACB, will hold the post for now.
According to a source, though former police commissioner Rakesh Maria is the state’s senior-most director general, he is unlikely to be made the head of the ACB. Ever since he was unceremoniously removed from the post of police commissioner last September, Maria has been heading home guards department, considered to be a relatively insignificant posting. His sudden transfer from the post of police chief had raised many eyebrows as it took place when the investigation in the Sheena Bora murder case was at its peak. Maria will retire in January 2017.
Other claimants to the post of director-general of police, ACB, are Mumbai police commissioner Datta Padsalagikar; Meeran Borwankar, who is currently on central deputation; Prabhat Ranjan, director-general, legal and technical; and VD Mishra, managing director, police housing and welfare corporation.
Mathur began his career as an assistant superintendent of police in Kolhapur and went on to become the sub-divisional police officer at the Panvel sub-division in Raigad. In 1985, Mathur was promoted to deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in Pune, where he also held the posts of zonal DCP, DCP headquarters, and DCP special branch over the years.
Mathur also held the posts of DCP, anti-corruption bureau, and superintendent of police (SP), Aurangabad before being appointed DCP, crime and special branch, in Nagpur. During Mathur’s time in Nagpur, the investigating agency secured convictions in two high-profile murder cases – one in which the accused was a sitting member of the legislative council, and one in which the accused was the brother of a sitting member of the legislative assembly.
Mathur’s planning also led to the arrest of a gang of armed Sikh extremists of the Khalistan Liberation Front, who carried out 17 terrorist attacks across the country. He also raided the hideout of a Naxalite from Andhra Pradesh.
In April 1996, Mathur worked with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on deputation, holding the ACB office of the CBI in Mumbai as superintendent of police. Mathur has also served in the CBI’s Economic offences wing, Delhi, and the agency’s special task force in Mumbai.
During his stint with the Mumbai traffic police, as joint commissioner of police, he was instrumental in launching an interactive voice response system and the traffic department’s website.
Between October 2002 and October 2012, Mathur served as director, Air India. He initiated the separation of ground services into a self-sustaining subsidiary known as Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL). He also restructured the airline’s finances and initiated cost-saving methods.
Mathur served as commissioner of police, Pune, from March 2014 to April 2015. In April last year, he was promoted to the rank of director general of police and was posted in the state’s prosecution and forensics department. On September 30, was made managing director of the Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation.