Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Saturday appointed IAS officer Viresh Kumar Bhawra as the new DGP of the state amid row over “major lapses in security” during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.
The 1987-batch IPS officer is the third Director General of Police in the state in a span of three months. He has been appointed to the top post for a minimum period of two years from the date of assumption of office.
In an order, the Punjab Governor said that the empanelment committee recommended three officers for the top post, Bhawra, former state police chief Dinkar Gupta, and IPS officer Prabodh Kumar.
“Union Public Service Commission, New Delhi has sent minutes of meeting of the Empanelment Committee. The Committee has recommended a panel consisting of the names of the following officers as suitable for appointment to the post of DGP (HoPF), Punjab:- I. Dinkar Gupta 2. Viresh Kumar Bhawra 3. Prabodh Kumar,” the order read.
“On the consideration of the panel received from Union Public Service Commission, the Governor of Punjab is pleased to appoint Viresh Kumar Bhawra, IPS as Director General of Police, Punjab (Head of Police Force). His term shall be for a minimum period of two years from the date of assumption of office in pursuance of the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 03.07.2018,” it added.
IPS Viresh Kumar Bhawra has been appointed as the new DGP of Punjab on the consideration of the panel received from UPSC pic.twitter.com/mzdzEAPKdS
— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2022
The change in the head of state police force comes weeks ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.
The Central government on Thursday constituted a three-member committee, led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat, and comprising of Balbir Singh, Joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau, and S Suresh, IG, Special Protection Group, to enquire into the “major lapses in security” during Modi’s visit to Punjab.
After he was stranded on the flyover due to a blockade by protesters, the prime minister had to return from the poll-bound state without attending any event, including a rally.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi denied there was any security lapse or political motive behind it and said his government was ready for an inquiry.The Punjab government has also set up a committee on Wednesday to enquire into the incident.
Following the replacement of Amarinder Singh by Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab Chief Minister in September last year, DGP Dinkar Gupta, considered close to the former CM, proceeded on leave.
Subsequently, the Channi government gave the additional charge of the Punjab DGP to IPS officer Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota. However, after Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s objection, Sahota was replaced by 1986-batch IPS officer Siddharth Chattopadhyaya.