Pic: Vivek Phansalkar (left) and Sanjay Pandey (right)
Amidst all the hurly-burly of Maharashtra’s politics, comes a new commissioner of Mumbai Police. The state Home department has appointed 1989-batch IPS officer Vivek Phansalkar as the new commissioner of the Mumbai Police as Sanjay Pandey is scheduled to retire Thursday. Phansalkar had earlier held important posts such as chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and ADG Anti-Corruption Bureau during Devendra Fadanvis’s tenure as chief minister of Maharashtra.
The officer is currently posted as MD of the Maharashtra Police Housing and Welfare Corporation. He was the commissioner of Thane police when Mansukh Hiren was allegedly killed by API Sachin Waze and former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma in March 2021. Phansalkar played an important role in ensuring that evidence was not destroyed after Hiren’s body was discovered in a creek in the jurisdiction of Thane police.
The state government did not seek an extension for Pandey. The MVA government had appointed Pandey DGP of Maharashtra and in his tenure, various cases against opposition leaders were registered. The IPS Rashmi Shukla phone tapping case came into the limelight after he took charge as DG. During his tenure as CP Mumbai, the cyber cell had recorded the statement of Devendra Fadnavis in the phone tapping case.
Phansalkar hails from Pune, his first posting was as Additional Superintendent of Police, Akola. He also served as Superintendent of Police in Wardha and Parbhani before getting his first posting in a city commissionerate as Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nashik. Phansalkar has also served as Director of Vigilance for the Cotton Corporation of India.
In Mumbai, Phansalkar served as Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) and Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) before being transferred as the chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in 2016.