Mumbai: After the ghastly murder of MiD DAY's Investigations Editor J Dey and the law and order situation apparently keeling over in the city, Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, who claims to have taken the killing as a personal affront to the force, has become sensitive to the need of an overhaul of the department.
At a condolence meet held yesterday at the Mumbai Police Headquarters, the top cop said that J Dey's murder, unprecedented in its brazen violence and breach of public safety, was "a slap" on the police force's face and that the shooters had thrown down the gauntlet at him.
He further said that it was time to review the entire law and order situation in the city.
"J Dey's killing is a slap on the face of the police department. I have never seen such an attack on a journalist, and a challenge has been thrown at me by the perpetrators of the crime," Patnaik said.
Every unit of the Crime Branch and the Mumbai Police has been working to find substantial clues to crack the case of the journalist's gunning down, cops said.
Police sources said that Dey's slaughter, coupled with the disturbingly rising crime rate, including murders, underworld shootouts, robberies and so on, has shaken the whole police fraternity.
Moreover, over the past few months, the city has thrown up incidents of police negligence.
He specifically referred to the ineptitude of the police in the case of the murder of four men in Kurar a fortnight ago, where poor handling of the case had resulted in the transfer of a cop.
Even though the Kurar police had been forewarned about the impending crime, the cops failed to act against the accused. To top that, the main accused in the case has been in police records.
According to police officials, the commissioner had held a meeting in Powai with the heads of all police stations and senior officials from the Crime Branch a day after the gunning down of Dey on Saturday. Sources said that Patnaik took the police force to task for not doing their job efficiently in the past year.
He also said that the police needed to solve Dey's case at the earliest. "Detecting the case is our priority. Later, we will implement certain measures to make this city safe and fear-free for journalists as well as the common man," Patnaik said.
About progress in the case, Patnaik promised a breakthrough shortly. "We will make a breakthrough in the case soon," he said.
Certain members from the Crime Reporters' Association, present at the meeting at police headquarters, said that reporters need to be more cautious and such incidents will dissuade reporters from going deep into the investigation of a delicate story.
To this end, Patnaik said, "A reporter should go deep into the story without any fear. We will ensure that law and order is maintained, and remove the fear from people's minds."
Sources added that among the things the commissioner plans to bring under his personal scrutiny are the languid attitude and working ways of policeman in certain cases.