THE PUNJAB government Saturday transferred Inspector General A K Pandey, who was in charge of the security detail of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, as IG (Human rights) in a reshuffle involving seven officers.
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Sources said the government, and particularly a few officials attached with Badal’s office, were unhappy with Pandey’s “handling of Congress dharna outside Chief Minister’s residence” over the Chhitta Raavan clash in Ludhiana.
1995 batch IPS officer Promod Ban, who earlier served as Director-and-Inspector General CM Security, replaces Pandey. In August this year, Ban was shifted as IG (Modernisation) from IG (Counter intelligence) where he was posted days after the Dinanagar attack in 2015 after crucial inputs gathered by him.
Pandey, when contacted, said he had been performing his duty with “utmost professionalism” since he was handed charge of the CM’s security detail. “They (Congress) legislators are elected representatives. How can I stop them from moving or sitting on a public road. Moreover, my jurisdiction is inside the CM’s house only. If something happens outside, it is for UT police to take care of,” said Pandey.
Director General of Police Suresh Arora said it was an “administrative reshuffle”.
“Elections are approaching. There will be movement of VIPs in the state. Till now, the post of IG (Security) was being taken care of additionally. Now, we have a dedicated IG (Security),” said Arora. The government shifted IG (Human rights) S K Singh as IG (Security), a charge he was holding additionally earlier.
Pandey, an officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) 1986 batch, was posted in the CM’s security detail in August 2014 after the then Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini backed his appointment. Pandey was among the officers from paramilitary forces who were absorbed in Punjab police under the Absorption of Paramilitary Officers in Punjab Police Rules 2006. He was promoted to the rank of DIG after the deputy CM cleared his file for the said rank in December 2009, three years after he was absorbed in Punjab police
Bathinda Zone IG S K Asthana has been given additional charge of IG Modernisation. IG Zonal-II Jalandhar Lok Nath Angra has been shifted as Amritsar Commissioner of Police, replacing Amar Singh Chahal who has been posted as DIG, Patiala. Balkar Singh Sidhu has been shifted as DIG Intelligence.