|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Man of the moment: A N Roy
Makarand Gadgil in Mumbai | July 14, 2006 04:05 IST
With the Mumbai police at the center of attention following Tuesday's terror attack, the city's Commissioner of Police Anami N Roy is under tremendous pressure.
While the citizens of want their city to be made safer, politicians want him to show results.
Here's a quick look about the man at the helm of affairs.
If he has godfathers - and Roy, the grapevine has it, is close to Maratha strongman and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and has the blessings of the Gandhi family whom he was assigned to protect during his years in the Special Protection Group -- they've been hard-pressed to come to his help.
His two-year tenure has been far from easy, including a highly publicised public debate on the rape of a college girl by a policeman, flak during the 26/7 deluge last year when the city was left virtually unattended by the police force during the crucial hours of the flood, and harsh criticism for failing to act on Intelligence reports before this week's serial blasts.
A lesser person might have been devastated, but Roy's nimble-footedness in marshalling his forces and keeping the morale in the city high has come in for appreciation from most quarters -- both in the aftermath of the recent flooding of the city, as well as the serial bomb blasts.
Former police officers believe his singular contribution to Mumbai Police is cutting down the high-profile crime branch to size. The crime branch was believed to have become so influential that a few of its officers could influence the state government's decision on top police appointments.
Roy also took on the 'encounter specialists' in the force to arrest the killing of underground elements in staged shootouts. This ruffled some feathers but Roy had his way, whether it was with Daya Nayak (who is now behind bars on corruption charges) or Pradeep Sharma (who has been shunted to a nondescript station).
The technology savvy Roy is also credited with starting the cyber crime wing of Mumbai Police, a helpline for senior citizens, and kickstarting the modernisation of the force with new equipment and armory, and initiatives like community policing in slums.
Considered an all-rounder in law enforcement -- his policing has included traffic, internal administration and the crime branch -- he was certainly not the chosen one of his immediate boss, Parminder Singh Pasricha, the director general of police.
When the 1974 batch IPS officer took over as the Mumbai police chief in 2004, Pasricha, his immediate predecessor, was not too happy to be moved out, despite promotion as DGP.
Roy has had a love-hate relationship with the Mumbai media. His fiat that the media not be given information directly by police stations, and other restrictions on interaction, irked scribes. In fact, some scribes boycotted the press meet of joint commissioner of police, crime, Meera Borwankar.
Roy doesn't enjoy the Page 3 coverage his predecessors made a career out of. He is known to prefer a quiet dinner with his family, which consists of his wife Mona and daughters, business journalist Saumya and lawyer Richa.
When gossip about his godfathers was doing the rounds, he had riposted: "I am nobody's man." Mumbaites might prefer to call him "everybody's man".