With incidents of stone-pelting and violence on decline, Jammu and Kashmir is all set to get a new police chief soon as the current DGP retires this month. The State government in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs is in the process of drawing up the list of probables as they want the top officer to take charge while the situation is under control in the valley.
The present DGP, K Rajendra Kumar was appointed in May 2014 and completed his term in August this year. However, he was given an extension of three months to crackdown on stone-pelters and protestors. Kumar, officials said cannot be given another extension as per the rule.
Sources said the top contender for the job is DGP (Law and Order) S P Vaid, a 1986-batch J&K cadre officer. Vaid may topple his senior S K Mishra from 1985 batch with ruling BJP and PDP in favour of a local officer being appointed. Another IPS officer whose name being considered is S M Sahai, a 1987 batch officer earlier in-charge of Intelligence in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the State government is said to have reservations over appointment of Sahai. He was recently transferred to Delhi after J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s displeasure over handling of the Burhan Wani encounter that led to wave of unrest in the state. A high profile officer, Sahai, was handling the charge of additional director general of police (intelligence) during the brief President’s rule in the state after Mufti Mohammed Saeed’s death.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry also ordered withdrawal of 45-50 companies of paramilitary forces on the grounds that the situation in the valley has improved. These forces, according to MHA officials will now be deployed in 5 States where assembly elections are scheduled to take place.
A senior home ministry official further explained, “There will be no let down in security deployment. These forces were in the reserve and were not part of counter-terror operations. They were posted for Amarnath Yatra and once the yatra was over, they were stationed in J&K.”