1) It’s won’t be wrong to call him the man behind the hanging of Yakub Memon
-Maria shot to fame after his hard-hitting investigations of the 1993 Mumbai blasts. On the evening of March 12, 1993, the day 12 serial bomb blasts rocked the city, the Matunga police station received a phone from Dr. Jaichand K Mandot, a skin specialist who had noticed a light blue scooter parked in front of his clinic at Dadar (East), a stone's throw from the crowded train station. It was there before the blast and continued to be there after. A team led by Maria reached the spot and discovered the scooter laden with explosives. The same night an abandoned Maruti van was found off Worli by the Police. The van registered in the name of Rubina Memon, a resident of Al-Hussaini building in Mahim, was found with weapons, hand grenades and other weapons. Maria led a team to the Memon residence and found it locked. When they broke into the flat, he found the key to the explosive-laden scooter outside Mandot's clinic.
The key linked the scooter to Abdul Razzak Memon and his five sons including Tiger and Yakub Memon. Two days after the bomb blasts, Maria, despite being from the traffic division, had cracked the case. The state government created a post of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) especially for Maria to head. His investigations into the bomb blasts led to 100 convictions and the hanging of Yakub Memon.
-It reportedly came to light that during an investigation into the terrorist group Indian Mujahideen in an eastern UP town, Maria was told that a well-known qawwali singer was performing through the night at a known dargah. Once he finished his work for the day, Maria went across to the dargah and enjoyed a night of qawwali.
3) From real life to reel life with an age old bond with the silver screen
-While a number of bollywood movies have characters based on Rakesh Maria, his father Vijay Maria came to Mumbai in the months after Partition aspiring to become a film actor. He became a financer and producer. Maria's family still owns the production house Kala Niketan. Actor Anupam Kher is a close friend of Maria and his role as Prakash Rathore in the Hindi flick A Wednesday is one of them. Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday on the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts saw actor Kay Kay Menon depicting Maria. Actor Nana Patekar's character in Ram Gopal Varma's The Attacks of 26/11 is also based on Maria.
4) Often termed by his associates as viagra of the demoralised police force
-Espying his obsession with a case, though his detractors within the force may accuse him of "hijacking" cases however Maria has the complete respect of his juniors, who even call him "a shot of viagra" to a demoralised police force considering him a task master working for the best of the fraternity with no political masters.
5) Known for his non-violent yet innovative and fierce methods of interrogation
-As an interrogator he does not believe in the third degree methods. He plays mind games with the accused like interrogating them at odd hours and can continue his interrogations at a stretch of 10 hours without losing his cool. Maria also has the capability to establish an emotive bond with the accused. They start to trust him and give valuable information. That is how he got Ajmal Kasab, to confess about the role of Pakistan's Hafeez Sayeed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
6) Inspector Dinesh Kadam supposedly Maria’s most trusted man?
-Through his journey from the traffic department to the crime branch to anti-terrorism squad to city police commissioner, inspector Dinesh Kadam has always moved with him. Kadam helped Maria investigate the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, now he is the investigating officer in the Sheena Bora murder case. In the Sheena Bora murder, when Maria received a tip off from a woman, he transferred Kadam to Khar Police Station discreetly because he knew a bigger scandal was about to erupt. In the three months since that tip-off, the Maria-Kadam combination had been building a case against Indrani Mukerjea. He has barred all policemen from leaking information to the media on crucial cases.
7) Amidst controversy for alleged links with fugitive former IPL boss Lalit Modi
-Maria got entangled in a controversy after a news channel telecast photos of Maria with the ex-IPL chief. Maria subsequently issued a statement clarifying that Modi sought the help of Mumbai Police in view of "threat" to his life by the underworld in London, adding that he had apprised the then Home Minister (late RR Patil) about the meeting soon after his return. In due course, the Maharashtra government gave Maria a clean chit terming his explanation which was sough by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) KP Bakshi, a satisfactory one.
8) Man with a razor sharp memory
-He knows even the smallest players in the underworld. Though sometimes his colleagues and subordinates might tend to forget but the 58-year old cop gives every penny of details along with the latest status of the criminal. He remembers names of criminals including their middle names, age, addresses and their crime sheet. All this without anything written down!
9) An abled sportsperson
-Maria is a keen basketball player and cricketer. He has also represented Maharashtra in the National Games in Karate.
(The above piece is compiled after extraction of information and excerpts from various news pieces published in Open Magazine, Hindustan Times, NDTV, India Today and First Post. Can be reproduced with due credit to the original publications and the owner of this blog)
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