Rakesh Maria is the former Police Commissioner of Mumbai. He is one of the most successful police officers; as he has solved some of the most high profile cases in India.
Rakesh Maria was born on Saturday, 19 January 1957 (age 63 years; as in 2020) in Bandra Mumbai. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. He received his primary education from the St. Andrew’s High School in Mumbai. After his schooling, he went to St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Since his childhood, he wanted to be in the uniformed services. When Maria was filing his application for the civil services, he filled out IPS in all slots where the applicant is asked which service does he prefer.
Height (approx.): 6′ 2″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Family, Caste, and Wife
Rakesh Maria belongs to a Punjabi Family from the Gond Caste (Primitive Tribal Group). His father, Vijay Madia, owned a film production company, Kala Niketan, which has produced super hit films such as “Neel Kamal”, “Kaajal”, “Preetam”, among many more. He had come to Mumbai from Punjab to become an actor. Rakesh Maria got married to Preeti in the year 1985. They met in college (St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai). They have two sons, Kunal (Elder; Advocate) and Krish.
Rakesh Maria is a 1981 batch IPS officer from the Maharashtra cadre. His first posting was in Akola, Maharashtra as an Assistant Superintendent. In 1986, he was posted in Mumbai. Maria was promoted as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) in 1993. When he was posted as the DCP Traffic, the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts happened. A day after the blasts, when two sub-inspectors of the Mumbai Police found an abandoned van in Worli, Maria rushed to the scene, found a bomb in it and had it diffused. He then traced the van back to Tiger Memon and led to his apartment in Mahim. It led the police to discover another bomb, which was planted in a scooter. He cracked the case and eventually, filed a strong case against the accused.
During his stint as the DCP of traffic, he built a strong network of sources in the underworld and among the Mumbai’s elites. In 2003, the twin blasts of Mumbai took place. Maria interrogated the driver in whose taxi the bomb took off. The driver gave information about the couple who had planted the bomb in his car. The couple were arrested within 4 days. Reportedly, his interrogation style is very unique, and he plays mind tricks, which would make the accused confess to their crimes.
When the attack of 26/11 happened in Mumbai, Ajmal Kasab was the lone surviving terrorist captured by the Mumbai Police. Maria was the first police officer to interrogate him. Reportedly, after Maria interrogated Kasab, he gave them information about his plan, team, and his handlers in Pakistan. Kasab was later hanged in 2012. Post 26/11, he was appointed as the Chief of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). In 2010, he cracked the German Bakery bomb blast case.
Throughout his career, he has been credited with cracking high profile cases and breaking the stronghold of the mafia in Mumbai and surrounding places. In 2012, he was handling the Sheena Bora murder case when he was suddenly promoted as the Director-General of the Home Gaurd, and he was transferred. On 31 February 2017, Rakesh Maria retired after 36 years of service.
- In 2003, Maria made a controversial statement and named many cricketers about the cricket betting scandal during a sting operation by a media house.
- Rakesh Maria was transferred to the low profile of the Civil Rights Division when a fake terror alert on a place of worship in Mumbai was revealed to have originated from Maria’s email account.
- A year after the 26/11 attacks, the wife of slain Assistant Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Vinita Kamte published a book, “To The Last Bullet”, about the attacks on 1 December 2009. She blamed Maria of not handling the control room duties properly and manhandling the security response on 26/11.
Dish: Deep Fried Mackarel (Fish)
Actor: Amitabh Bachchan
Film: Zanjeer (1973)
Singer: Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali
Books: “The Day of the Jackal” by Fredrick Forsyth, Sherlock Holmes
- His real surname is Madia, but, due to the Marathi accent, it got distorted to Maria.
- In his college days, Maria was a basketball champion and also participated in martial arts. He represents the state Mumbai police team in basketball.
- In 1979, Maria participated in the National Games and represented Maharashtra in Karate.
- He is also known for making Sanjay Dutt confess to his underworld connections.
- Once, in an interview, he stated that he regrets being in the control room and not on the field when the 26/11 attacks happened.
- Rakesh Maria often takes part in the state football team of the Mumbai Police.
- He is the only IPS officer who has headed the Crime Branch as a Deputy Commissioner, Additional Commissioner, Joint Commissioner, and Commissioner.
- Often, when there was violence or public disturbance on the streets of Mumbai, he used to go down to the spot of the violence himself. Many a time, he was not in uniform, but he used to take a lathi and walk up to the place of violence, and within minutes the streets would clear up.
- In 2013, Nana Patekar portrayed the role of Rakesh Maria in the film, “The Attacks of 26/11”.
- After his retirement, he announced that he will pen down a book on the most important cases of his career and also provide insight on several things that happened during those cases.
- On 6 August 2018, Bollywood director Meghna Gulzar announced that she’ll be directing a web series on the life and career of Rakesh Maria.
- In February 2020, Maria wrote in his explosive memoir “Let Me Say It Now” that the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks were planned to be projected as “Hindu terror” by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In the book, he has written that-
If all had gone well, he would have been dead with a red string tied around his wrist like a Hindu. We would have found an identity card on his person with a fictitious name: Samir Dinesh Chaudhari, student of Arunodaya degree and PG college…Bengaluru…There would have been screaming headlines on newspapers claiming how Hindu terrorists had attacked Mumbai. Over the top TV journalists would have made a beeline for Bengaluru to interview his family and neighbours. But alas, it had not worked that way and here he was, Ajmal Amir Kasab of Faridkot in Pakistan.”