Eight months before his superannuation, Gujarat police chief P C Thakur was shifted to New Delhi on Friday as director general of fire services, civil defence and home guards. Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau P P Pandey, named as an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, has been given additional charge of the top post.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Thakur as director general, fire services, civil defence and home guards, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training. The Centre’s order has left Thakur’s subordinates guessing over the reason for his sudden ouster from the top police post in the state.
With Thakur being moved to Delhi, Pandey, who was made a DGP-rank officer in 2013, has become the senior-most IPS officer in the state. Chief Secretary G R Aloria confirmed that Pandey has been given additional charge of the top post.
The order on Thakur’s appointment stated, “The appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of P C Thakur, IPS as Director General, fire services, civil defence & home guards… for a period up to the date of his superannuation i.e 31/12/2016 from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.”
Police officers in Gujarat said they were surprised that within two days of the Cabinet meeting Thakur’s fate was decided. The order referred to a note from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated April 13.
According to senior police officers, “it was anticipated for at least last one month”. When contacted, Thakur refused to comment.
An IPS officer of 1979 batch, Thakur will be the third senior officer from the state to be shifted to Delhi in the past one year, after A K Sharma, who was appointed as CBI joint director, and A K Asthaana, who recently joined him as additional director.
When asked who would be the new police chief, additional chief secretary (Home) P K Taneja said it has not been decided yet. The names of Pandey and DGP Geetha Johri, posted as MD, Gujarat State Police Housing Corporation, are doing the rounds as Thakur’s successor.