Not surprised by the sudden transfer of Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik, most former commissioners of police believe that the transfer should have come a while ago. They, however, maintained its timing could have been better.
“It does not seem like a conspiracy. Though, it could have been timed better. The sudden transfer makes it appear that he has been shunted out because of the Azad Maidan violence,” said a former Mumbai police commissioner, requesting anonymity.
Former commissioner Julio Rebeiro said: “Being the seniormost officer, Patnaik had to be promoted to the post of a director general. In fact, we were expecting the orders on July 31, the day when K Subrahmanyam stepped down.”
Patnaik’s promotion, in the aftermath of the August 11 violence, is only a coincidence, he said.
Meanwhile MN Singh, another former commissioner of police, said, “The proposal for Patnaik’s transfer was mooted before the Azad Maidan incident. It is not linked to the transfer. But, people will link it to the violence. It cannot be avoided.”
The police chiefs believe that the move is unlikely to affect the morale of the city’s police force.
“Unfortunately, many policemen are not even aware of who leads the force. So, for them, the transfer will not make any difference to their morale,” said Rebeiro.