Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
HomeOpinionAppointment of police chiefs on their ideological leanings anti-national: Julio Ribeiro

Appointment of police chiefs on their ideological leanings anti-national: Julio Ribeiro

Mumbai Police was a good force. It never failed to perform when properly led. Much depends on the leader, a wrong choice ensures downward slide.

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If politicians in power appoint honest and competent officers in leadership positions in the police forces across India, the security management would have been much better than what it is now. But if choices are made because of an officer’s willingness to go along with a party’s ideological commitments, communalism and injustice take a massive hop-step and jump. If the choice is based on money exchanged or to be exchanged in future, corruption and injustice take a similar trajectory. Both are harmful to the polity and to the country’s advancement. To my mind, both choices are anti-national.

The choice of police leaders rests with politicians in power. The National Police Commission and the Supreme Court had agreed that the choice of the DGP of a state and police commissioners of the big cities should be made by consensus or majority vote cast by the prime minister/chief minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of the Supreme/State High Court. That this wise advice is not being honoured by any government is a matter for public concern.

If Param Bir Singh had been appointed Mumbai’s Police Commissioner in this wise manner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in opposition, would not have a leg to stand on when it complained of a high-end corruption demand, allegedly made by Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. The home minister belongs to Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In the division of portfolios between the three parties that constitute the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in my state, the NCP got the much sought after home portfolio.

Also read: Mumbai police-politics-underworld nexus unravels with Waze, Param Bir Singh & Anil Deshmukh

How corruption catches cops

The Mumbai City Police was a good force. It still is. It never failed to perform when properly led. Much depends on the leader. In fact, it all depends on him. When a wrong choice is made, a downward slide begins. The not-so-good juniors relax, the good are confused and know not what to do. Corruption hits the roof. Discipline is given a go-by. Mercifully, this does not occur too often because the political parties in Maharashtra all know that the performance of the Mumbai Police can make or break the government itself, in a manner of speaking.

Sharad Pawar in his heydays had complete control of the police. He knew each senior officer, their strengths, weaknesses and foibles. He appears to have lost his touch. Or did the compulsions of a coalition government force his hand? According to information available with me, Pawar had two marathon meetings with Param Bir Singh before the latter was appointed to the top post. Did he probe into the feedback he must have received about the officer? Particularly, about his sojourn in the neighbouring Commissionerate of Thane? His party’s operatives in Thane must have given their chief an appraisal of the officer’s rapport with his subordinates and with the general public. What must they have reported?

Also read: Ex-cop, bookie, 93 SIMs, 14 phones, 3 days, WhatsApp — how Mansukh Hiran ‘murder was planned’

The Waze mystery

The induction of an ‘encounter specialist’ who had been on suspension for the past 13 years, but was suddenly drafted back into service by defying all rules of decency and morality, and even rules enjoined by law, was an indication of the type of police administration that was in store. The appointment of an assistant police inspector (API) as head of the Crime Intelligence Unit in the Crime Branch was the next indication. Even greater folly of trampling over norms of discipline by ignoring the hierarchical structure and permitting API Sachin Waze to report directly to the commissioner himself was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

The mighty Mumbai City Police and its nationally known Crime Branch was turned into a plaything in the hands of a junior subordinate officer. The API, as we now know, allegedly arranged for a car laden with twenty gelatin sticks to be parked outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani, India’s biggest industrialist. There was a note inside the car addressed to Mukesh and his wife, Nita. It warned of dire consequences if – what? That has not been clearly spelt out, but a good guess can be made.

If an officer of this rank, so closely associated with the city’s top cop and taking orders directly from him, has the temerity to try and frighten an internationally known businessman and his wife, equally well known in cricket and educational circles, at whose instance did he plant that car with the gelatin sticks and what was the motive?

The date on which the car was parked, the date on which the alleged demand of ‘Rs 100 crore a month’ from the police was made and conveyed to Param Bir Singh by API Waze and ACP Sanjay Patil of the lucrative Social Service Branch, the date on which Param Bir Singh informed the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray of the demand, the date on which his outrageous and alleged demand found its way to the press — all have to be clearly determined before any conclusion is arrived at about the possible motive.

I refuse to believe that Waze, even though he possessed the ability to execute a really big crime, would have thought of intimidating a heavily guarded top-drawer industrialist in an attempt to extort big bucks. The very thought of pulling off such a bold crime is not only ridiculous but also ludicrous. Was there a person so insane that he could think of such a strategy to meet an equally ridiculous demand of Rs 100 crore a month? There is obviously some other explanation for the stupidity. That needs to be established.

The author is a retired IPS officer, former Mumbai Police commissioner and DGP, Gujarat and Punjab. Views are personal.

Edited by Anurag Chaubey

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  1. From colonial times, police in this land have always been the creatures of their political masters…and nothing has changed after independence, only that the Angrezi babus have been replaced by swadeshi babus, who are even more craven and corrupt.

  2. Police here have always been corrupt…they’ve been known, and seen, to be openly associating with mafia dons and other underworld figures. Worse, lack of professionalism means that they will go to any lengths to please their neta masters.

  3. it may be true that post independence and possibly the next 10- 15 years, the police were a good force. After that they were as communal and bribe prone and politician prone as any person could be. Clearly there were many good police personnel, but when confronted by religion and politics – they all caved in.

  4. Most of us believe, or choose to believe that our Police Force is a shining example of the finest policing traditions. We have been fooling ourselves for decades. Did anyone in the Police system ask all this time, how some lower rung employees possess so much wealth, flats, cars despite their relatively moderate pay, and flaunt it?

    We have ignored the problem for so long, ignored Police Reforms that even the top court has pointed out more than once, and why should we be so befuddled when a Vaze or a Parambir Singh pop out and remind us of the pus oozing out of the putrefying system?

    In Secunderabad, a former Congress MP, who used to be a pickpocket in his youth, took on a role in the Police Housing board or whatever its name is, only to harass senior police officers who used to thrash him whenever he was caught. Such petty, lowlife can dictate who can be transferred, who gets a promotion and we wonder why our policing system is failing?

    We deserve a special place in the museum, if we ask such questions.

  5. Mr. Pawar is today on the edge of getting back whatever sins he committed in his political career….. trying to blackmail such a powerful industrialist is his God-sent trap for the climax. Let this bring a new chapter of transparency and accountability in police of all States.

  6. If Mumbai Police is such great force as Shri Ribeiro claims, why did it lead to the growth of the underworld in the city, which, in turn led to encounter specialists like Sachin Vaze? Also Shri Sharad Pawar, the most overrated politician in India, does not hold any official position in the government. In which capacity therefore did he hold “two marathon meetings with Param Bir Singh before the latter was appointed to the top post” as Shri Ribiero claims? As Shri Ribiero, himself has pointed out recently, he is 92 and well past his prime. It is time that media looked beyond him to understand policing in Mumbai.

  7. It is a game of big corruption and open loot govt and police chief are fully responsible if parambir does not permit it .he shd resign or ask for his tfr there is no law to entertain a such criminal police inspector to resume his duty and made a chief without gazetted officer ribeiro was my DG and he is ever honest and example of truth highly disciplined officer

  8. Sir, why do your service tribunals not act to disengage officers engaging in nefarious activities?

  9. Never agreed with this. Bangalore chennai hyderabdd and even Kolkata have better police. Since haji Màstaan to dawood were nurtured in bombay. And bombay police are guilty of complacency.

  10. PRINT is anti BJP. The views expressed are not worth considering. Except BJP all political parties are starving for money, hence this 100 Cr collection target can be believed. Despite ideological difference for collecting money and to fight next elections, they have to remain together

  11. Mr Ribeiro you can be excused your naïveté in believing that any police force in India can be well led. Police force has become politicians sword arm for hire. Let me paint an intriguing scenario for you. What does the BJP top leadership desperately want? To discredit alliance govt of the opposition from successfully projecting an alternative – because that is the only way the BJP PM can be replaced. Discredited police officers like Mr Vaze and Mr Singh are goons in the guise of police men. They can be bought by anyone and made to say anything. So Mr Vaze in his own official car, which can be easily identified by convenient CCTV footage, places innocuous explosives in front of the residence of the richest, most high profile business man in India. Mr Singh conveniently waits for this moment to announce that 100 Cr was demanded from him by the HM. And the IT cell of the ruling party and bought journalists broadcast this story far and wide without even once thinking if all is above board in this tale. Atleast you have flagged it as ludicrous and that demonstrates why you were held in high regard during your tenure. We have seen this happen before – a high profile policeman was caught escorting terrorists in his official vehicle – someone who had done this previously as well – to help powers that be score a point over political opponents. The only casualty here has been the unfortunate Gujarati businessman who was bumped off – like Afzal Guru. Only one saying has been proven true – police ki na dosti achchi na dushmani!

    • He knows that being a Police officer par excellence. This is only a reflection and introspection for our nation.

    • Ribeiro is right. Police force can be upright. Problem is politicians are corrupt and pander to fanatics, gangsters & semi-gangsters, many from minorities, who in turn create vote banks in minority community using their strong arm technique and throw some crumbs to poorest in minorities. Of course you are part of that charmed circle.

  12. Perfectly ….. the bottom line is who benefitted politically from the scare …. there are layers within layers of cross politics and no one can be sure who pulls the ultimate strings ….. meaning vaze was double crossed by his bosses? … parambir was angry only AFTER he was transferred so who backs him now? … he knows it is very dangerous to offend political bosses …. these two are mere puppets who can not make their own decisions so they are behaving like cornered rats … trying to find any hole which can save them ……

  13. Police should be autonomous irrespective of which party is in the rule. Treat them something like army to have their own power, this is what Supreme court should stress upon. And the same applies to supreme court not to be advocates of the ruling party. India ia a great country but debauchered by political rogues, this needs to be changed.

  14. Sad to believe that Maharashtra Police today got branded as Dacoits & Hard core CRIMINALS in uniform and approved by Maharashtra’s present government, just because of a few lowest grade human in this team.
    Even a child will not trust her/his own father today if he is a part of Mumbai Police, very very difficult to recover this psychological black spot in mind.
    For past 1-year things were getting exposed several times; every indian including many people across the globe understood that such criminal activities were going on officially in close coordination with MVA GOVT. but strange to note that our system itself is equally responsible to encourage such filthy and anti-national criminals to continue without any action for sooooo long.
    Whether one believes it or not, But none can escape divine justice – the reward n punishment is for sure n for everyone.
    Wish all these criminals n ruthless creatures with human body, never come out of jail till end of life in earth

  15. No one other is responsible as so much DGP himself, why he acted on the advice. He is culprit because they acted further for collection of hundreds of crores and this the main crime. He is not fit for Police service if there is any Responsible Department i.e Home Ministry under which command he serve the Nation. Imandhari tub count hottee hai aghar uss samay Resign kartey ji jab chakar view ki Rachna khud hi rachi thhi.

  16. Honestly honesty is not measured on words,,ita only deeds.
    So how on earth will the citizen ever be able recognize honesty in any deed with average common sense…..? How?

    So the article is a good old expectation rather any construct of discipline.


    Mr. Power whose government is suspected to be close to D gang is also a SECULAR POLITICIAN.

    HINDUS who are opposed to proselytizing activities of the church are COMMUNAL.

    Corruption is SECULAR as political party involved in corruption is asking for service of a SECULAR church controlled police officer.

    • Not quite sure if you are being sarcastic or not. If you aren’t, this is clearly the product of just two braincells rubbing against each other inside of your head.

    • Data,,, u are a blind bhakt of a moron who has no data from birth who are your parents,,,, dont brand JR secular,,,, u are a scum which erodes and will sink in your own shit

    • He is correct Riberio is controlled by Church and Sonia. His motives are suspect. Christianity has a three hundred year Genocidal record in Inida and Asia. Truly Christians are capable of anything, to force conversion to White God.

  18. Appointment of police chiefs must be on the basis of honesty and competency, to expect an individual of that caliber not to have ideological leanings is impossible. Every thinking man must and will have ideological leanings and part of honesty and competency is not to let it influence the work just as to deny having such leanings is plain hypocrisy.

  19. Mr. Ribeiro’s fondness for Mr. Pawar notwithstanding, a cursory glance at Maharashtra’s political history reveals that wherever there is NCP, corruption inevitably follows. No other political party comes even close. The Pawar family itself is amongst the most corrupt political dynasties.

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