The Mahavikas Aghadi government has done major changes in the police department of the state. In an order issued, the government has appointed Sadanand Date as the commissioner of the newly formed (Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar) MBVV Commissionerate. Significantly, Date has been working without any portfolio after he returned from the central deputation in February.
The state government has reshuffled the senior police officers on Wednesday. Apart from Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Mira-Bhayandar Commissioners, Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Crime Branch, Joint Commissioner of Law and Order and several IG rank officers have been transferred. According to sources, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had detailed discussion with NCP President Sharad Pawar, in July. Last time, there were differences between Shiv Sena and NCP over the transfer of Mumbai DCP.
Who is Sadanand Date?
Sadanand Date attracted international attention during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks because of his actions resisting terrorists. An IPS officer of 1990 batch, Sadanand Date rejoined the Maharashtra Police in February this year after several years of central deputation. He has emerged as one of the top contenders for the Mumbai police commissioner’s post and was in the race with Param Bir Singh, after Sanjay Barve retired, early this year.
The brains behind the anti-terrorism cell in Maharashtra and a recipient of the President’s Police Medal for bravery during the 26/11 attack, Date had worked as IG and additional DG of the Central Reserve Police Force before becoming joint secretary in the law and justice department. He had served as a DCP, Zone 8, in Mumbai and later uniformed as additional commissioner of the central region.
During 26/11, he had taken a carbine from the Malabar Hill police and fired at terrorist Ajmal Kasab and his aide. The terrorist bullet has injured Date in the attack.
In addition to undergoing special training with the GSG-9 (Grenzschutzgruppe 9), a special unit of the German Federal Police, Date also played a significant hand in establishing the Mumbai Police’s elite commando unit, Force One, dedicated to fighting terror elements, alongside senior officer S Jaganathan, in 2009, modelled along the lines of the elite National Security Guard (NSG). Along with establishing a branch of the Mumbai Police sworn to secrecy, he was also responsible for overhauling the traditional, yet outdated, policing methods that had earlier come to define it.
Commissionerate for Mira Road-Virar belt
Currently, Mira-Bhayandar stretch falls under the jurisdiction of Thane (Rural) Police and Vasai-Virar falls under Palghar Police.
Four years ago, a proposal for new police commissionerate was tabled. However, it had been put up on back-burner since. In the Monsoon Session of the state Legislative Assembly last year, then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured a group of legislators from the areas that the commissionerate will be fully functional before the assembly election. However, due to internal politics, it was also delayed.
There were demands for a new commissionerate as an increased in criminal activity. Rapidly, the areas are urbanising. The 2011 Census has pegged the population of the areas at 20.46 lakh. Officials believe the number has now increased to over 45 lakh. An Additional Director General (ADG) rank officer will head the MBVV (Mira-Bhayandar-Vasai-Virar) Commissionerate. The government had sanctioned 4,708 posts for the new MBVV Commissionerate. A total of 1,006 posts from Thane (Rural), 1,165 from Palghar and 317 posts from other areas will be transferred to the new set up.
The state will also create an additional 2,200 posts for the region. The government plans to recruit additional personnel in two stages. In the first stage, the government will hire 1,022 personnel including 975 constables. Notification for this has already issued by the Home Department. While in the second stage government will recruit 1,082 personnel.
The government has allocated the budget of Rs 174 crore for the new Commissionerate.
Govt sanctions Rs 138 crore for MBVV
The state home department had sanctioned Rs 138 crore for the creation of the MBVV Commissionerate last year.
A rising population of foreign nationals has become targets of cybercrime and cheating cases with drugs menace.
“The existing manpower is insufficient to police urban areas. Police will serve people better if it gets more personnel. Response time to scenes of crime and detection of crime will improve. Commissionerates have a different command structure,” said a senior Maharashtra Police officer.
The MBVV Commissionerate will head by Sadanand Date, an IPS officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police. There will be an Additional Commissioner of Police, four Deputy Commissioners of Police and eight Assistant Commissioners of Police. It will also include 1,165 personnel from Palghar and Thane Rural Police.
Thirteen police stations which are currently part of the two districts will form the bulk of the new MBVV Commissionerate. While seven new police stations will come up. Kashigaon will bifurcate from the Kashimira, while Golden Nest will curate from Navghar and Mira Road Police Station. There will be new Pelhar, Achole, Mandavi, Bolinj and Naigaon Police Station. The Cabinet approved Rs 3.82 crore for the construction of the new police stations, in July last year.