Speculation is rife over the fate of Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of recent rape of a five-year-old girl and police insensitivity in handling it.
There are reports that Kumar may be shifted out of the key post and Special Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi may be asked to take charge as the new Delhi police chief.
Home Ministry sources said Kumar, a 1976 batch Indian Police Service officer, who faced widespread criticism over the handling of December 16 gang rape of a girl in a moving bus and its fallout, may be transferred to the bureau of police research and development or asked to go on leave. Kumar is due to retire in July.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is said to be unhappy with the Delhi police's handling of rape of the five-year-old girl, manhandling of West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra as well as the storming of his house by protesters recently.
Interestingly, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is critical of the Delhi Police over the handling of public protests over the December 16 gang rape of a girl, and Bassi, a 1977 batch IPS officer, met the home minister separately.
When contacted about the speculation about the Delhi police commissioner, Shinde said, "So far no decision has been taken."
Sources said Shinde wants to effect a reshuffle in the home ministry in the level of joint secretary and the additional secretary as well as in the Delhi police, which directly reports to him. He had already got a new home secretary (Anil Goswami) appointed more than two months before the incumbent R K Singh demits the office.
Goswami, who joined on Monday as officer on special duty, started attending key meetings with the home minister. A reshuffle was also effected in the Delhi police among its middle-level officers assigning new jobs to them.
After meeting the home minister, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said she had asked Shinde about the Delhi police commissioner but he (Shinde) said that no file regarding him (Neeraj Kumar) has come to his office.
"An OSD type arrangement like the home secretary is not possible for the Delhi police commissioner. In any case, Neeraj Kumar is retiring. So it is just a matter of time," she said.
Dikshit said she had requested the home minister not to transfer any Delhi government officers further and make appointment in vacant posts.