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Gujarat government transfers controversial DGP
February 21, 2009 21:33 IST
Last Updated: February 21, 2009 22:01 IST
The Gujarat government on Saturday transferred the state's controversial Director General of Police P C Pande, who had come under cloud during the post-Godhra communal riots in 2002, apparently to preempt such a move by the Election Commission, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
S S Khandwawala, who belongs to the minority community, was appointed as the new DGP.
Ahmedabad [Images] Police Commissioner O P Mathur has also been shifted and replaced by H K Saikia, sources in the chief minister's office said.
Pande, who was DGP during the 2007 elections, was transferred by the Election Commission ahead of the state assembly elections. He was the Ahmedabad city police commissioner during the post-Godhra riots.
The sources said the government anticipates that the EC might once again transfer Pande as Lok Sabha poll dates are likely to be announced next month and the Code of Conduct will go into force.
Pande, the seniormost serving officer of the Indian Police Service (1970 batch) in the country, has been posted as the director general of the Anti-Corruption Bureau while Mathur is the new director general of communications.
Both Pande and Mathur are going to retire on March 31 this year. Though the government maintained that these are routine transfers, sources said the actions were taken keeping in mind the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
P C Pande was Ahmedabad's police commissioner during the 2002 riots, when many people from the minority community were killed under his jurisdiction. Pande was re-appointed to the post of DGP, by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], immediately after the elections were over.
Meanwhile, the state government has written to the Centre to grant an extension to Pande and Mathur.
Khandwawala, who has a clean reputation, is the first officer belonging to the minority community to become the DGP under the Modi government, sources said.
S K Saikia, who too has a clean image, has been appointed to the post of Ahmedabad police commissioner. Saikia was also appointed as the city police commissioner by the Election Commission during the 2007 assembly elections.
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