Arvind Inamdar: A DGP who never failed to speak his mind dies at 79

Mohamed Thaver
Friends and family mourn his demise, at Nariman Point. (Express photo: Nirmal Harindran)

ARVIND INAMDAR, a former Maharashtra director general of police (DGP), known for his reputation as an upright and bold officer who cared for the lower rung of the force, passed away early Friday. He was 79.

Inamdar, who was suffering from age-related ailments, breathed his last at 2.20 am. He had lost his wife a few years ago and is survived by two daughters. His elder brother had also served in the state police.

Inamdar, a 1964-batch IPS officer who hailed from Vidarbha, served in Mumbai, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik, among other places, during his 36-years in the force. He would be especially remembered for his investigation in the alleged conspiracy to murder Bombay Dyeing chairman Nusli Wadia, in which case he had booked Kirti Ambani, a former general manager with Reliance Industries Limited. He also investigated the infamous Jalgaon sex scandal of 1994.

Caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted a condolence message, calling Inamdar an honest officer who was always at the forefront of issues like police reforms and improving living conditions of police personnel. He also worked for the modernisation of the force. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in a tweet, called Inamdar a stern protector of the law who worked for the common man.

Earlier, even as the principal of Maharashtra Police Academy — seen as a low-profile posting — Inamdar left his mark as he made several changes there, improving the quality of rooms, food, training and refurbishing the library. It was under his tutelage that “encounter specialists” like Pradeep Sharma and Vijay Salaskar trained and would later take on the underworld.

However, Inamdar had told The Indian Express how he felt disappointed that some of these officers later became embroiled in controversies.

Retired ACP Praful Bhosale from the 1983 batch said, “He was a strict principal who tried his best to inculcate a sense of discipline in us. He had principles and he stuck to them, no matter what the consequences. He was a rare officer.”

Inamdar’s love for the force, especially the lower rung, led him to start three awards under the Arvind Inamdar Foundation, which bestowed an award and cash prize to officers who had done outstanding work.

Former Mumbai Police commissioner Julio Ribeiro said, “Inamdar was especially concerned about the well-being of the constabulary. He felt that as a leader of the force, he had to take care of the men serving under him.”

However, what made Inamdar one of the tallest officers of the state was his reputation of being an upright officer, who was known to stand his ground. “He was an outspoken and fearless officer who never failed to speak his mind — whether to a political leader, a chief secretary or his senior officer. That was his defining characteristic,” Ribeiro said.

An officer said that it was Inamdar’s refusal to follow the whims and fancies of a state Cabinet minister that led him to take voluntary retirement in 2001 after the minister tried to sideline him.

Following his retirement, Inamdar traveled extensively across the country on invitation, giving lectures on personality development. A committed reader, he had started writing an autobiography over the last few years. But he did not have enough time to complete it.