Taking an apparent cue from senior IPS officer Kiran Bedi and his former colleague Satyapal Singh, ex-Mumbai Police commissioner Arup Patnaik has joined the ruling party of Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Taking an apparent cue from senior IPS officer Kiran Bedi and his former colleague Satyapal Singh, ex-Mumbai Police commissioner Arup Patnaik has joined the ruling party of Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Interestingly, the development makes Patnaik the second Mumbai police chief to join politics after Satyapal Singh, who had quit as Mumbai top cop in 2014, to contest the Lok Sabha election on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket.
“It is my privilege that I am getting an opportunity to serve the people from Odisha,” Patnaik said after joining BJD in Bhubaneswar yesterday. Patnaik said that he has joined BJD as a worker of the party and he thanked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for providing him with an opportunity to work for the people of his “land”. The Chief Minister said that Arup Patnaik would prove to be a “valuable asset” for the party.
Who is Arup Patnaik?
Known as the “bar busting cop”, Patnaik is a 1979-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and hails from Odisha. He retired as the Director General of Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation in 2015.
Patnaik was appointed Mumbai police chief in 2011. During his tenure as the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, Arup Patnaik appointed controversial Assistant Police Commissioner (retired) Vasant Dhoble as the head of Mumbai Police’s Social Service Branch (SSB). Dhoble used to raid pubs and bars in Mumbai.
Before being appointed as Mumbai top cop, Patnaik held the post of Additional DG (Highway Traffic). He had replaced Sanjeev Dayal as the Mumbai Police Commissioner. It has been learnt that Patnaik was first posted in Latur. After that he was transferred to Jalgaon and Nagpur. He was then appointed as the Zone 6 Deputy Commissioner of Police. Patnaik, however, is also credited with checking crime in Latur as the district SP during 1983-86.
He was removed as Mumbai police commissioner in August 2012 after facing flak for his handling of the Azad Maidan riots in the same month. He was succeeded by Satyapal Singh.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, during a rally in Mumbai, had demanded Patnaik’s ouster over the violence at Azad Maidan, for allegedly failing to control the situation during a protest against “persecution” of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. He was also criticised by the Opposition for the handling of the Azad Maidan situation.
Subsequently, Patnaik was “promoted” as director general and posted as managing director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
Patnaik is also a trustee of the Konark Cancer Foundation, a Mumbai-based NGO that provides logistic support to needy cancer patients undergoing treatment at the Tata Memorial Hospital