Caste politics and arm-twisting by a group of MLAs may ensure BG Jyothi Prakash Mirji’s continuance as the city police commissioner. The latest development which, sources said happened overnight, reverses Saturday reports which indicated that additional director general of police (ADGP) Bipin Gopalakrishna was to replace Mirji at the top post of the city police.
On Saturday, the state government was almost certain to replace Mirji with Gopalakrishna. According to sources in the state government, a list of over 20 IPS officers to be transferred was prepared. The list was with the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) by Friday.
As per the list, Mirji, ADGP (law and order) T Suneel Kumar and joint commissioner of police (crime-west) Pronab Mohanty were among those to be transferred for new postings.
But in a late Saturday night development, a group of MLAs — playing a crucial role in the ongoing political powerplay and linked to former chief minister and current Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) chief BS Yeddyurappa — prevailed upon chief minister Jagadish Shettar and home minister (also deputy chief minister) R Ashoka, not to move Mirji from the top post.
Apart from political pressure, sources said, a highly-respected seer belonging to the dominant Lingayat community influenced Ashoka against replacing Mirji (also a Lingayat) with Gopalakrishna. Subsequently, only a list of nine police officials to be transferred was released, with the finalisation of the rest of the officials to be done after Tuesday.
ADGP Gopalakrishna confirmed it to DNA: “I am not taking over charge as commissioner of police, Bangalore, it is all rumours.” However, sources in the home ministry confirmed that Gopalakrishna had retracted upon learning about the political and caste pressures at play.
But the sources also pointed out that Gopalakrishna would most likely be instated as the police commissioner after May.
ADGP (law and order) Suneel Kumar, too, would retain his post until after the assembly elections, while Pronab Mohanty will be replaced by Soumendu Mukherjee as joint commissioner of police (crime). Mohanty will take over as the inspector general of police (administration).