Thanks to the ongoing face-off between chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and home minister RR Patil, four Indian Police Service (IPS) officers from Maharashtra have achieved the uncanny distinction of being the senior most deputy inspector generals (DIG) of police in the country. The four senior police officials, have now become junior in ranks to their batchmates and counterparts in other states.
The four DIGs, have been due for promotions from Januray this year, but because the CM and HM are at loggerheads on who would be the new Mumbai police commissioner, all other postings and promotions have been put on hold. This has resulted in a cascading effect, wherein, all officers from the rank of additional director general (ADG) of police to superintendents of police (SP) across the state have had to wait endlessly for their promotions and postings.
The officers are currently posted in Mumbai – Pravin Salunkhe (additional commissioner of police, central region), Niket Kaushik (additional commissioner of police, crime branch), Naval Bajaj (additional commissioner of police, special branch) and Amitesh Kumar (additional commissioner of police, Anti-Terrorism Squad).
According to sources, the entire batch of DIGs (which consists of these four officers and Vinoy Chaubey, who is out of the country on deputation) were due for promotion from January. “It is now, almost a year that these officers have not been given their promotions, in spite of them being eligible for it,” said a senior police officer.
Interestingly, all their batchmates and counterparts (except those posted in the union territories) in other states, have been promoted to the ranks of inspector general (IG), whereas, these four officers continue to remain DIGs. “They have become a laughing stock amongst their batchmates, because they have now become juniors,” an officer said.
Apart from them, there are three other senior officers of IG ranks, who are also at the receiving end of the CM-HM fight. Dr K Venkatesan, Laxmi Narayan and Atul Kulkarni have been awaiting for their postings for almost eight months now. While, Kulkarni came back to the state after having completed a stint with the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Laxmi Narayan was serving in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Hyderabad, when he was called back to the state.
With the state winter assembly sessions starting from Monday, it seems unlikely that any decision would come before year-end.