Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro has dashed off a letter to the Maharashtra government expressing surprise over the appointment of four "tainted" senior Indian Police Service officers to key posts. The letter, addressed to Home Minister R R Patil, not only questions the appointment of Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy, Additional CP(North Region) Ramrao Pawar, Deputy CPs Ajit Patil (Zone 12) and Sanjay Banerjee (Zone 11), but also alleges that they have a reputation for "greed and corruption".
Ribeiro, who runs Public Concern for Governance Trust, an anti-corruption NGO, told PTI that he had written the letter keeping police reforms and operational freedom in mind. "I read in the newspapers that in the Maharashtra assembly these four policemen were criticised for their professional misconduct. Still they managed to get key postings which is very surprising and unfortunate," he said. "Many people have levelled allegations of corruption against these four tainted policemen. I have brought this issue to the notice of Home Department through the letter dated April 15," said Rebeiro, who was Director General of Police of Punjab during its worst years of terrorism.
"The chief of crime branch should be unquestionable but the politicians and police are taking people for a ride," he said. Politicians were interfering in appointing each and every police official, he claimed, adding even junior level officers were appointed with the "blessings" of politicians. "The four cops, whom I named in my letter have god fathers following which they became untouchable," he alleged and demanded that the appointments should be done in a free and fair manner. When contacted, Joint Commisioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said, "I do not even have the knowledge about the letter and nobody told me about it. The Home Department has not informed me anything about it."
Additional CP Ramrao Pawar said, "I do not know what the allegations are. So I do not want to say anything on the matter." The other two DCPs refused to comment.