Encounter specialist Daya Nayak was reinstated in police service by the Maharashtra Government on Monday.
Nayak was suspended last year in July for failing to report to Nagpur for a long time despite his transfer to the city in 2014.
At the time it was then Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Dayal who issued Nayak’s suspension order.
On Monday, it was Director General of Police (Maharashtra) Praveen Dixit who confirmed that controversial sub-inspector was back in service
Nayak had refused to go to Nagpur because he feared for his own life and those of his family members.
A sub-inspector for the last 20 years, Nayak hails from a poor Konkani-speaking family. He worked in a canteen before joining the Mumbai Police in 1995.
Throughout his career, Nayak has 83 encounter killings to his credit.
The 2015 suspension was not his first; he was suspended in January 2006 over allegations of corruption. A Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court ordered the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to conduct an inquiry into his wealth following allegations that first surfaced in January 2002. The corruption allegations came when he inaugurated a school, Radha Nayak School in Yennehole village at Karkala in Karnataka, named after his mother.
Some top Bollywood personalities, including actors Amitabh Bachchan, Sunil Shetty and Aftab Shivdasani, besides painter M.F. Hussain and then Karnataka education minister H Vishwanath attended the inauguration. But an initial inquiry into the allegations gave a clean-chit to Nayak. In 2006, the ACB inquiry led to Nayak’s arrest after a court rejected his anticipatory bail. But, in October 2009, the then DGP, SS Virk, denied permission to prosecute Nayak, citing insufficient grounds. There was also allegations that some of his encounters were fake, which Nayak has always denied.
Nayak spent nearly six-and-a-half years out of the force following his first suspension. The Supreme Court, in 2010, quashed all the charges against him levelled under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
In 2012, he was reinstated and transferred to the west region (Bandra to Andheri) – considered as a ‘high-profile’ zone in the police department. His first encounter involved the killing of two members of the Chhota Rajan gang on December 31, 1996. By 2004, the tally had touched 83.
Nayak’s ‘encounter specialist’ tag made him a popular with Bollywood. Nana Patekar played a character resembling him in the film ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’, based on Nayak’s life.