There can be no family planning for controversies. Strangeness is also associated with them, and sometimes the contemporary history vis-a-vis these controversies comes chasing you like a leopard whose stripes remain unchanged. This dramatic pre-phrasing was required to drive home the point that Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh is no stranger to controversies. He has been in the news for the last one month or so, thanks to relentless 'media investigations and trial' about the mysterious death of young Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Now the city police commissioner has come at the receiving end of a political attack. There is already a demand for his 'removal' or 'to be eased out' from the coveted post as the Supreme Court has handed over the high profile probe into Sushant's death – given out as suicide – to the CBI. BJP leaders are already unambiguous about their standpoint that Mumbai police had 'botched' up the probe and thus denying justice to a famous deceased star.
In the past, too, Singh, 1988 batch IPS officer, had courted controversies. None other than Sadhvi Pragya, who was jailed for Malegaon blast, had named Param Bir Singh along with Hemant Karkare (who died in infamous Pakistani terrorist siege on Nov 26/2008) and Suvarna Shinde for torturing and manhandling her to extract some 'false confession'.
Even Lt. Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit had alleged that Param Bir Singh and other officials had tortured him. Purohit's letter was also sent to the National Human Rights Commission.
When the Congress-NCP regime was in power, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had alleged that Param Bir Singh was responsible for ill-treating BJP's Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya in custody and that actions should be taken against him. But paradoxically, in a dramatic turn of events on March 17, 2015, Fadnavis as the state Chief Minister had promoted Singh as Thane police commissioner reportedly "ignoring" the seniority of three others.
When Uddhav Thackeray – heading Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance regime made Singh the police commissioner of Mumbai, the talk in the town was that the foundation for the same was laid by Fadnavis himself. After all, it is said that the police commissioner in the satellite city of Thane is only a stepping stone to head the cops in the country's commercial and entertainment capital – Mumbai Mayanagari. Singh also had other controversies. As chief of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), he had given a clean chit to the incumbent Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in the much talked about irrigation scam.
Even while getting the crucial post of Mumbai police commissioner, Param Bir Singh had outwitted three other strong contenders – D Kanakratnam, Rashmi Shukla and Sadanand Date. Of course, Param Bir Singh was once hailed for taking on Don Arun Gawli. But it was alleged in 2008-09 by the then Mumbai police commissioner, Hasan Gafoor, that during November 26, 2008 (26/11) siege of Mumbai, that Param Bir Singh – as the IGP - was found guilty of dereliction of duties.
In fact, Singh's father Hoshiyar Singh was furious about such a charge against his son and had moved court against Gafoor in Chandigarh. Nevertheless, a probe panel constituted by the Congress-NCP regime had found fault with Gafoor and passed stricture against him for the 26/11 fiasco. Perhaps the row against Param Bir Singh will take some more weeks and months to settle down. But as for the next few days, he would be debated and discussed in the television studios and elsewhere.
"Param Bir Singh's designs failed before maverick Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey," went a refrain in the social media on August 19 when the Supreme Court verdict came. Lately, sources in Bihar police had claimed that Param Bir Singh had not responded to telecalls from Gupteshwar Pandey. Param Bir Singh also drew flak in the media and elsewhere he said Late Sushant Singh Rajput used to google about how to commit suicide.