Maharashtra officials on Thursday issued an order for Mumbai police chief Arup Patnaik to be transferred to an administrative post in the state as a disciplinary action against the manner in which he handled the Muslim mob rampage at Azad Maidan earlier this month.
Home Minister R R Patil confirmed Patnaik's transfer, which came two days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray lead a protest demanding the dismissal of the Mumbai police commissioner and RR Patil for their failure in containing the violence on Aug 11.
According to the Press Trust of India, Patil said that Patnaik was promoted to Director General and was posted as Managing Director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). He will be replaced by Satyapal Singh, who is currently the Additional Director General of Police in the state.
When asked about the chances of transfer in connection with Mumbai violence Patnaik said on Wednesday: "As I told you, I am a government employee. Ultimately whatever the government decides...whatever post it gives me that will be fine with me. If they ask me to go on leave, if they ask me to be here, I will be here...I am under a regular job. There is no question of whether I should go or not go".
Patnaik was criticized for delaying action against the instigators of the violence on Aug 11 when a rally at Azad Maidan turned violent killing two people and injuring 60 others. The opposition parties and Shiv Sena have demanded the resignation of the police chief in this regard. So far Mumbai police has taken 48 people into custody in connection with the Mumbai violence and most of these arrests were made after Tuesday.