'One man went berserk or rogue, but that does not mean the Mumbai police should be ashamed.'
Retired Indian Police Service officer Dhanushkodi Sivanandhan served for six years in the Mumbai police's Crime Branch in the 1990s and oversaw the city's crime graph fall.
He is credited with bringing the city back to normalcy when it was undergoing a bloody gang-war phase.
He took over as Mumbai police commissioner in 2009 after the 26/11 attacks and retired as Maharashtra's director general of police in 2011.
After his retirement, Sivanandhan runs a non-governmental organisation, the Roti Bank Foundation, which supplied 35,000 meals a day to the poor during the lockdown last year.
Sivanandhan spoke to Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf about Mumbai Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze's arrest and former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh's letter charging Maharashtar Home Minister Anil Deshmukh with a plethora of offences.
The allegations levelled by Param Bir Singh at Home Minister Anil Deshmukh are shocking. Does it not reflect badly on the Mumbai police?
His allegations don't reflect badly on the Mumbai police, but on politicians.
Why did Singh keep quiet when he knew that Sachin Waze was asked to collect Rs 100 crore by Deshmukh? A point which even Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar has highlighted. Why did he not speak up earlier?
These are all political manoeuvres. I cannot say what Pawar or some other politician has said. I am not a politician and I cannot comment on them. If I say anything it will turn into a political debate.
As a policeman I can only say, form an inquiry and find out what is the truth.
The bottom line is, Singh has made these allegations. If he had made it five years ago, that would have been a different matter, but now, since he has made it, the truth should be found out.
Asking questions about why he did not make these allegations earlier is a different matter altogether.
What do you think of the Sachin Waze episode? Doesn't it tarnish the image of the Mumbai police?
A crime has been committed and a case has already been registered.
Let the investigation be over, and whoever has committed the crime will have to face the punishment.
Let there be a speedy trial. That's my opinion.
What about the image of the Mumbai police in the people's eyes?
It does not affect the Mumbai police at all.
One man has committed a crime and a case has been registered by the NIA (National Investigation Agency) and various other agencies.
Let this thing get investigated and concluded as soon as possible.
The Mumbai police consists of 50,000 people, one of whom has allegedly committed a crime, and a proper process of registering a crime has been done.
He has been arrested and he has gone into custody. Let the law prevail, justice prevail and let there be a speedy trial.
The impression that one gets after this episode is that the Mumbai police in tandem with politicians and are busy collecting hafta.
The Mumbai police does not consist of one man. Sachin Waze is not the Mumbai police.
The Mumbai police consists of 50,000 other people.
Policing of Mumbai city is done by a professional police force of 50,000 people, men and women.
And what they (individually) do will not affect the law and order and crime situation of Mumbai city.
One man went berserk or rogue, but that does not mean the Mumbai police should be ashamed of themselves.
What would you have done if you were in Param Bir Singh's place?
You cannot compare me to him. It is like comparing cheese and chalk. My times were different.
Was there political interference in your time too?
Political interference was zero during my time. Nobody interfered with me.
They left me alone and I did my job.
No politician asked me to do anything.
Maybe you can call me lucky. But no politician ever asked me anything.
Would you like to say anything more?
It is the top leaders who are responsible for the image of the police force.
The 50,000-strong police force of Mumbai is the best possible police force in the country.
They deserve a leadership which is unambiguous, non-corrupt, straightforward and not political.
I spent six years in the crime branch, as police commissioner and as DGP of the state and my feeling is this is the best possible police force.
One man gone rogue does not represent the entire police force. Let him be separated and be punished as per law.
This police force needs absolutely straightforward, non-corrupt and professional police leadership and they will shine again.
Politicians interfere only with those officers who are pliable and who are willing to bend and crawl.
If you are straightforward and make it very clear, they will not come and ask you to do anything which you are not going to do.
It is very simple.