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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Punjab: Bhagwant Mann picks Gaurav Yadav as officiating DGP — 5th police chief in 10 months

A decorated officer, Gaurav Yadav, who is the son-in-law of former Punjab DGP P C Dogra, had served as the intelligence wing chief during the SAD-BJP regime in 2016.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 5, 2022 7:27:55 am
bhagwant mann, punjab govt, punjab dgp, punjab news, bhagwant mannThe 1992-batch officer is counter-intelligence expert.

The Punjab government Monday appointed 1992 batch IPS officer Gaurav Yadav as the officiating state police chief. He is the fifth IPS officer to be appointed as Punjab DGP in less than 10 months.

The counter-intelligence expert, who was earlier posted as special principal secretary to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, assumes charge as Punjab DGP as the incumbent police chief Viresh Kumar Bhawra proceeds on two-month leave beginning Tuesday.

As per an order issued by the Punjab government, Yadav, who was Special DGP (Administration), has been given additional charge of Punjab DGP (Head of Police Force) in addition to his own duties during the leave period of Bhawra.

Yadav, who was among the frontrunners for the post with batchmate Harpreet Singh Sidhu’s name, had cleared the Civil Services examination alongwith Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was selected for the Indian Revenue Service.

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When reporters asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on the appointment of the officiating DGP, he said the changes keep taking place in the administration.

The 1992-batch officer supersedes Dinkar Gupta (1987-batcc); Prabodh Kumar and Inder Preet Singh Sahota (1988); and Parag Jain and Sanjeev Kalra (1989). Yadav, however, will be eligible to make it to the panel of officers to be sent to the UPSC for consideration as regular DGP only after October 10 this year when he completes mandatory 30-years of service, as laid down by the Supreme Court.

A decorated officer, Yadav, who is the son-in-law of former Punjab DGP P C Dogra, had served as the intelligence wing chief during the SAD-BJP regime in 2016. During his stint, Punjab Police got extradited and arrested Harminder Singh Mintoo (now deceased), Jagtar Singh Tara and Rattandeep Singh Virk as it investigated RSS leader Rulda Singh murder case in 2009, and Shingaar Cinema Blast in Ludhiana in 2007. Yadav was recently elevated to the rank of DGP.


He was first commissioner in Jalandhar when the Commissionerate of Police system was introduced in that district and in Amritsar and Ludhiana. Earlier, he had served as SSP in Gurdaspur and Jalandhar and also had stint in Chandigarh as UT SSP. He also had stints in police modernization, security, law and order, administration and jails wings of the state police force.

The state government can appoint the officiating DGP for a maximum of six months. Within this period, it has to send a list of IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission which will later send back a panel of three IPS officers to the state government for choosing one out of them.

Last week, incumbent DGP Bhawra, applied for two month’s leave, the move came at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in state is facing intense fire from all quarters over worsening law and order situation.


Two days before he applied for leave, the 1987-batch officer had made himself available for central deputation — the move coming almost a year after Ministry of Home Affairs, in July 2021, empanelled him for holding Director General post at Centre.

Bhawra’s functioning as the state police had come under the scanner following clash between two groups in Patiala, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack on Punjab Police headquarters in Mohali and brutal murder of singer-politician Sidhu Moosewala, among other incidents, soon after AAP stormed to power in Punjab. The incidents are believed to have caused the AAP dear in Sangrur byelection where party candidate lost to Simranjit Singh Mann of SAD (Amritsar).

With Yadav’s appointment, Punjab has seen fifth IPS officer as head of the state police force in less than 10 months.

After then CM Amarinder Singh was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi last year, then DGP Dinkar Gupta had proceeded on leave and Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, a 1988-batch IPS officer was appointed as officiating Punjab DGP. Sahota’s tenure, however, was short-lived as then state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu batted for S Chattopadhyaya, an IPS officer of 1986-batch. Sidhu had his way and Chattopadhyaya was named as the officiating DGP, before government appointed Bhawra as regular DGP in January.

The panel of three IPS officers, finalised by the UPSC, from which Bhawra was selected included Dinkar Gupta and 1988-batch IPS officer Prabodh Kumar. While Gupta has since taken over as Director-General National Investigation Agency (NIA), Kumar heads the intelligence wing of Punjab Police, the role of which has largely come under scanner due to series of law and order incidents in the state. A section of intelligence wing also gathers and collates, for the ruling government, though not putting it on record, the odds of winning an election and the orientation of voters ahead of a poll. The calculations went wrong in case of Sangrur bypoll held in June and triggered the development where Bhawra offered to go on central deputation.

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First published on: 05-07-2022 at 07:23:25 am

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