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Sheena murder: Maria shunted out; Ahmed Javed new police chief

Sheena Bora murder case

Mumbai: High-profile Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, who personally interrogated accused in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case in an unsual action, was today shunted out of the post and transferred on promotion as Director General of Police Home Guards.

Eyebrows were raised as Maria swapped places with Ahmed Javed, who was appointed the new Mumbai Police Commissioner. Ahmed is a DG-rank officer and the Commissioner’s post has been upgraded.

Soon after taking over in a swift and sudden change of guard, Javed said the probe into the murder case will be done in a professional way when he was asked whether he would be investigating it personally.

“The accused are currently in judicial custody. The probe will be done with proper team work. So far as investigation goes, it is over at this point of time.

“As far as investigation which goes on in connection with evidence, I think any case which is important or having a bearing with will be monitored in the right professional way,” he said, adding that all spects including the financial angle would be investigated.

Maria, who had recently hogged limelight after a video of his meeting in July, 2014 with former IPL chief Lalit Modi in London surfaced, apparently took unusual interest when he frequently went to Khar police station for questioning the accused including Indrani Mukerjea, mother of Sheena.

The Maharashtra government had sought his explanation on his meeting with Lalit Modi and he had denied any wrongdoing.

As various theories floated over the reasons for his transfer, the Maharashtra Home Department said the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Ganapati festival, dismissing suggestions that that it has some links with the ongoing investigation in the murder case.

“Maria has been promoted to the Director General rank and posted as the DG of Home Guards in Mumbai in place of Ahmed Javed. Javed (who was DG, Homeguards) becomes the new CP of Mumbai,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi told reporters here. He said that post of Mumbai Police Commissioner has been upgraded to ‘Director General’ rank post.

He said Maria, a 1981-batch IPS officer, had been transferred with “immediate effect” and that Javed, also a 1980-batch IPS officer, will take over as the new CP today itself.

“There was no hurry in transferring Maria. It would have been inappropriate to transfer him on September 30, in the middle of the festive season as Ganapati festival, a very important event in Maharashtra would be on at that time. Therefore, we decided to advance the promotion of Maria,” he said.

When asked about the fate of the ongoing Sheena Bora murder case investigation, Bakshi said that all investigations are important and not only this particular case and that the work of the CP is only to supervise the investigation.

“Investigations are conducted by lower-level police officials and supervised by the CP. The new CP is competent. Also, Javed should get enough time to handle the situation in Mumbai,” Bakshi said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is away in Japan on a visit. The police have also questioned Siddharth Das, biological father of Sheena and Mikhail.

According to police, a team of forensic auditors, chartered accountants, income tax consultants and officers of the Economic Offences Wing have also been scrutinising various companies, investments, properties not only in India but also in UK and Spain, belonging to Mukerjeas as well as the companies owned by them.

Sheena was allegedly strangled in a car, then her body was burnt and dumped at a forest in Raigad, about 84 kms from Mumbai.

Police had last week claimed that Indrani had confessed to murdering Sheena and said financial transactions of the Mukerjea couple were being scrutinised closely.

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