A day after media reports hinted at the transfer of ACP Anil Mahabole in connection with the killing of Mid-Day journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, both the chief minister and Mumbai police commissioner issued clarifications on the issue.
CM Prithviraj Chavan said no such transfer had been ordered. “No proposal to transfer Mahabole has come to me yet. According to rules, all such transfer cases come to my office from the department.”
Additional chief secretary (Home) Umeshchandra Sarangi too confirmed that the home department had not given any such order.
Commissioner Arup Patnaik said Mahabole — ACP, Azad Maidan division of the Local Arms Control Room — had not been “transferred”, but “attached” to another post on administrative grounds.
“He has been attached to another office…as there were allegations of lathicharge and intimidation…made by journalist Akela (of Mid-Day). Let me assure that it…is not related to the murder case,” he said asking: “Had Mahabole’s name cropped up in the probe, wouldn’t he have been questioned?”
Asked if the police suspected Mahabole’s role in the case, Patnaik replied, “As of now, there is no connection of Mahabole with the journalist’s murder. May be his attachment happened at this juncture.”
Sources in the home department said that as per state government rules, the transfer of an officer of Mahabole’s rank (ACP) can take place only with the CM’s assent if it is after the May 31 deadline (for transfers). Since Chavan’s signature is not on the order, Mahabole’s shunting can not be termed a “transfer” but an “attachment”.