8:12 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Rakesh Maria May Not Retain Charge of Sheena Bora Probe: Sources

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NEW DELHI: Rakesh Maria, who was removed as Mumbai’s police commissioner on Tuesday, is unlikely to retain charge of the Sheena Bora murder investigation despite the Maharashtra government yesterday saying he would, say sources.

Sources say Mr Maria, who has taken over as Director General of Home Guard, swapping places with Ahmed Javed, has not received any written orders from the home ministry to take over the probe.

Mr Maria’s removal in the middle of the high profile case was seen as a slight and the result of his clashes with the state’s BJP-led government.

Amid reports that he was deeply upset at his removal, Mr Maria today denied that he plans to resign.

The government, say sources, disapproved of his unusual level of involvement in the case and doubts were raised publicly and otherwise by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who said the police must pay equal attention to cases that are not in the media glare.

Mr Maria had spent long hours questioning three persons arrested for the Sheena Bora murder a fortnight ago – her mother Indrani Mukerjea, step-father Sanjeev Khanna and a driver. Indrani Mukerjea’s husband, TV boss Peter Mukerjea, was the last to be interrogated by him on Monday night.

Sources close to Mr Maria explain that he needed to handle the questioning as the accused, especially Indrani Mukerjea, were “high profile, not cooperating and speaking in hi-fi English.”

As speculation swirled after Mr Maria’s removal about the future of the Sheena Bora investigation, the state government said that he would continue his inquiry.

Top Maharashtra police sources, reacting to a report quoting Mr Maria as saying that he was planning to quit, said: “Maria is a fine officer, hope this does not happen.”

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