In a special request to the Election Commission, the Gujarat government has asked not to transfer certain IPS officers until elections are announced, even if they have completed their tenures. The commission is learnt to be considering the request.
The State Home Department wrote to EC stating that the officers in special police agencies, like the crime branch, special branch dealing with visa, passport sections, local intelligence bureau and anti-terrorist squad have no communication with people directly and the their postings in the current places will not impact the election process.
Additional Chief Secretary Home S K Nanda said, “These special branches are not connected with people or voters directly during elections. They are right now handling very high profile investigations and monitoring key movements during elections. We have asked EC to maintain the officers at the same posts since they aren’t and won’t be connected to people directly.” Home department officials said the government sent a letter in advance to ensure there are no last-minute transfers.
In the state Assembly elections, EC had transferred Ahmedabad Crime Branch JCP A K Sharma and DCP Himanshu Shukla, but the state reinstated them, stating that their presence was required during Assembly elections. Sources said that a special request was made to maintain Sharma and Shukla for the LS polls too. DCP Shukla has completed three years while Sharma has another two years left of his tenure.
The acceptance of this request is likely to maintain the Police Commissioners of four cities, two of whom have completed their tenures. Surat Police Commissioner Additional DGP Rakesh Asthana and Vadodara Police Commissioner Satish Sharma have already had their transfers stalled. ACS Nanda added, “The EC received correspondence. They may make changes if they want, but we’ve explained specific reasons for stalling their transfers.”
Sources from Home Department said that the chances for EC refusing the proposal are minimal.