Additional DGP Shivanand Jha was appointed Ahmedabad Police Commissioner after the incumbent officer S K Saikia,the only DGP ranking officer in the state,retired on Monday.
The post of state police chief is also in the charge of an ADGP ranking officer,Pramod Kumar,after DGP Amitabh Pathak died while on a holiday in Thailand last month.
In the event of a delay in promotions,Jha will don three hats. He is already ADGP (law and order),state intelligence chief and also heads the Special Investigating Team that is re-investigating a 16-year-old encounter case against IGP Satish Verma. Jha was the additional commissioner of police (sector 1) in 2002,during the post-Godhra riots. He was a member of the Special Investigation Team constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the 2002 riots.
This was Saikias third stint as Ahmedabad CP after his stints in prisons department,State Human Rights Commission,SC/ST cell,police reforms,Anti-Terrorism Squad,Anti-Corruption Bureau,to name a few. Earlier,he was appointed as Ahmedabad CP in 2007 and 2011,but shunted out after he had written to the CBI in connection with the Sohrabuddin encounter case that the Ahmedabad police had not investigated the terror charges against Patel brothers of Popular Builders.
Saikia was among the three police officers who had last received promotion of DGP in September 2012 along with Amitabh Pathak and Chitranjan Singh,who was DGP of the state before Pathak. Saikia,though an upright officer,was not a seen as favoured by the current establishment,and therefore,lost out in the race for the state police chiefs post at the last moment when Pathak was appointed as the DGP.
Jhas new post was announced amid talks of Surat CP Rakesh Asthaana and ACBs Special Director Ashish Bhatia being in the race for the Ahmedabad CPs job.
Confirming the appointment ACS,Home,S K Nanda said,We have appointed Shivanand Jha as the Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad. He will hold the additional charges till a new officer is posted for the other departments he is handling.
In the current scenario,most of the ADGPs are holding additional charges. Pramod Kumar is also handling additional charge of ADGP Police Reforms and ADGP Home Guards and Civil Defence. His batchmate additional DGP Vipul Vijoy,who is posted as ADGP (Training),is holding additional charges of State Human Rights Commission and ADGP SC/ST Cell. Additional DGP Ashish Bhatia is also Special Director,ACB. The post of Director,ACB,is lying vacant after Pathaks death who was handling additional charge of ACB.
The state police is waiting for a reshuffle before the Lok Sabha elections that is expected to see the appointment of a full-time state DGP.