Agencies search, former Mumbai commissioner Param Bir Singh still not traced

Some police officers claimed that Singh might have escaped the country even before a so-called lookout notice was issued on August 12. Such a notice effectively prevents anyone from legally leaving the country.
Param Bir Singh (HT PHOTO)
Param Bir Singh (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 03:48 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai

 Law enforcement agencies in Maharashtra have no clue about the whereabouts of former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who has been incommunicado for past two months even as speculation rages that he has left the country.

A team from Maharashtra crime investigation department (CID) has visited Singh’s known addresses: his official residence in Mumbai, family home in Chandigarh, and a house in Rohtak, Haryana. It also visited a hospital in Chandigarh to check if Singh was admitted there as he sought extension of his sick leave, claiming he needed surgery.

Another team from Mumbai police visited his private residence in Vile Parle and sent him notices on two of his known email accounts.

After all this, Singh remains untraced, has chosen not to reply to any of the emails, and dodged a summons to appear before the police on Tuesday.

An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who asked not to be named said that Singh hasn’t opened the emails. His last known location was Chandigarh, the officer said.

Some police officers claimed that Singh might have escaped the country even before a so-called lookout notice was issued on August 12. Such a notice effectively prevents anyone from legally leaving the country.

“There is a possibility that he might have used the Nepal route to escape the country. There is also a possibility that he might have travelled to Andaman and from there flown to another country. But there is no specific information as such,” said a senior Maharashtra police officer who asked not to be named.

Other senior officers insist that an IPS officer as senior as Singh would not flee from the country in such a manner.

Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil said on October 1 that “any civil service officer needs the approval of the central government (for leaving the country). The Union home ministry is also searching for his whereabouts. We have no clue about his whereabouts as of now and we too are searching for him.”

Singh was removed from the post of Mumbai police commissioner on March 17 following his handling of the Antilia explosives scare and the murder of Thane trader Mansukh Hiran. He was shifted to Maharashtra home guards on March 22.

He subsequently lashed out against then state home minister Anil Deshmukh in a letter to the chief minister, and also sought legal redress over his transfer.

On April 7, Singh appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to record his statement in the two cases. He was subsequently summoned by the federal agency, but did not appear before it.

Singh last attended his office on May 4, and went on leave from May 5, citing health issues.

Thereafter he communicated with the Maharashtra home department, requesting extension of his leave due to health issues. He claimed to have undergone a surgery. In mid-August, he again requested extension of leave over health grounds.

It was the last anyone heard from him, said another senior police officer requesting anonymity

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Saturday, December 04, 2021