Mumbai: Mumbai’s new Commissioner of Police, Param Bir Singh, has been counted among the most high-profile IPS officers of the Maharashtra cadre over the past two decades. He has held various key posts in the state during his 32-year career, and brings with him experience in tackling underworld activities as well as in handling sensitive terror cases.
Hailing from Chandigarh, Singh has a masters degree in Sociology. An avid squash player, Singh is a fitness freak and is known to be extremely health conscious. He has won several `man of the match’ awards at the annual IPS officers’ cricket tournaments. When tea is served in his office to guests, he is often known to remark - `sugar is poison’.
A 1988 batch IPS officer, Singh returns to the city police fold after a long gap of 14 years. His last posting in the Mumbai Police was as Additional Commissioner of Police of the West Region, home to various Bollywood celebrities.
Singh was heading the state’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), before his appointment as Mumbai CP. While he helmed the ACB, the anti-graft agency gave a clean chit to NCP leader Ajit Pawar in connection with alleged scam involving 12 Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) projects.
Prior to his stint as DG ACB, Singh served as Additional Director General (Law and Order) of the state. During his tenure at the post, the Maharashtra Police arrested several prominent activists for their alleged role in organising the Elgar Parishad and conspiring to form an `urban naxal front’, and hatching a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister.
He has also served as Thane Police Commissioner. Under his supervision, the Thane Police cracked major cases, such as a fake call centre racket in Mira Road and an ephedrine drug cartel bust in which former actor Mamta Kulkarni was an accused.
Thane police also arrested gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar during Singh’s tenure as police chief.
Singh was earlier posted in the state Anti Terrorism Squad as DIG when it was headed by 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare.
Singh had played an important role in the investigation of the 2008 Malegaon blast, in which BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur is a prime accused. Under Singh’s supervision, the ATS arrested Chandigarh DIG Saji Mohan in a drugs haul case. Mohan was recently sentenced to 15 years rigorous imprisonment by a Mumbai court in the 2009 case.
Singh has also served as DCP Zone 2 and Zone 6 in Mumbai, as well as DCP Crime. In the 90’s when underworld activities were at its peak in the city, Singh was instrumental in setting up special squads to hit back at underworld gangs. Several gangsters were killed in `encounters’ at the time. As DCP Zone 2, he had also raided gangster Arun Gawli’s den Dagdi Chawl in Byculla.
Singh has also served as Superintendent of Police in districts of Chandrapur and Bhandara.