There has been no full-time Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Gadchiroli range, in the Naxalism-affected district since Ravindra Kadam, who held the post, was elevated as Nagpur range IG-rank officer. In the latest reshuffle, no one has been appointed as a full-timer to the post.
Also, the government has shifted IG (Anti-Naxal Operations) Anup Kumar Singh to Nagpur as Joint Commissioner of Police without any replacement. Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal, however, told The Indian Express: “We will have someone there soon.”
About Gadchiroli range, he said, “We have officers for that post, so we could have someone there too.”
The appointment of Sandip Patil (Parbhani SP) as Superintendent of Police (Gadchiroli) is being seen as a silver lining. While few officers are willing to serve in Gadchiroli, Patil had volunteered to take up the posting.
Ishu Sandhu, SP, Aurangabad (Rural), transferred to Gadchiroli a few months ago, had opted out citing “family reasons”. Sources said Patil’s request had been held in abeyance by the home ministry for long. Current incumbent Suvez Haq, rated as one of the best SPs to have worked in the district, will take over as SP of the new district of Palghar.
A senior official said “injustice has been done to him”.
“Is this the way to reward a good officer? After having worked in the Naxal zone for over four years, he deserved a peace-time posting (in the ranges) as per rules. He was pitching for Aurangabad or Pune (Rural), or Raigad. He even agreed for Solapur. Eventually he was sent to cope with pressures of a formative district,” said the official.
Haq is, however, unperturbed. He said, “Maybe the government feels I am one of the best officers to handle pressures of a new district. It has challenges of its own and I will try to do my best.”
Ravindra Kadam and Haq had worked to put Naxals on the back foot in Gadchiroli — about 40 of them were eliminated in less than two years. Kadam is currently holding the DIG (Gadchiroli) post as an additional charge.
“With these problems, the whole concept of a unified command for anti-Naxal operations virtually ceases to function,” said a senior official.