- DCP Maria Fernandes, a 1991 batch IPS officer, stopped attending office just days after the then commissioner of police A N Roy rejected her leave application in August 2005. She has not been seen ever since
Mumbai, Nov 20: It is a 'missing person' case that nobody in the city's police department wants to touch. It's just too embarrassing.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Maria Fernandes, 41, who was last posted in Zone-VII, has been missing for over two years now. Nobody has any clue where she is. Nor has anybody heard from her in the past two years.
Fernandes, a 1991 batch Indian Police Service officer, stopped coming to work sometime in August 2005 just days after the then commissioner of police A N Roy rejected her leave application. She has been untraceable ever since.
The only tid-bits of information one is able to gather about her whereabouts are in the form of speculation. Some officers say she has gone abroad for higher studies, while others say she has settled down to a peaceful life somewhere in Australia.
This is not the first time that Fernandes has carried out this disappearing act. Director General of Police Dr P S Pasricha said she had disappeared under similar circumstances in 2002. "She was untraceable for a year then. Now she is gone again. I will initiate action against her," he said.
Fernandes served as deputy commissioner of police, Zone VII, from December 29, 2004 to August 17, 2005. She was posted at the Mumbai Police Headquarters for six months in 2004.
Roy, who possibly triggered Fernandes' disappearance, said he does not have any details of her service records. "I do not move arround with these papers in my pocket. You will have to get the details from the commissionarate," he said.
A former personal assistant of Fernandes said she just stopped coming to office one fine day. "I have all her papers with me, even personal documents. I wish I knew where she is, I could have sent all her belongings to her," she said.
Special Inspector General of Police Ahmad Javed, who was joint commissioner of police (law & order) when Fernandes vanished without a trace, said he was on leave when she stopped attending office. “When I resumed duties, she was gone,” he said.
Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Jadhav too said he was unaware of the case's details. “I was not in Mumbai then. I will have to see files,” he said.
Nobody in the department was even willing to discuss whether Fernandes had any relatives in the city.
“Don't ask me about this case. It's ridiculous — talking about a missing fellow police officer,” a police officer said.