Frustration level of Maharashtra state Indian Police Service (IPS) officers over long-pending transfers and promotions has reached a tipping point. This was seen during the Maharashtra Police Raising Day dinner function arranged by the state top cop last week on Thursday where a few senior IPS officers directly asked home minister RR Patil why there was such an inordinate delay in transfers and promotions. Patil had no answer to offer.
Another senior IPS officer, who attended the dinner, said, “During the raising day dinner, a senior officer of the rank of deputy inspector general, who is due for promotion and posting for close to a year now, walked up to Patil and directly asked him about the transfers,” Patil, said this officer, could not give any answer.
Sources informed that quite a few police officers walked up to Patil and enquired about the transfers. “It is rather rare for police officers to directly approach the home minister like this. It only indicates that police officers have got totally frustrated,” said the officer.
Unprecedented in the history of Maharashtra police, transfers and promotions of the rank and file of IPS officers have been pending for almost a year now. According to sources, the reason is a face-off between chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and Patil.
A senior IPS officer from Maharashtra said: “All transfers and promotions have been put on hold because the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are unable to agree on who should be the next police chief for Mumbai.”
Sources said that while the Congress wants Additional director general (law and order) Ahmed Javed to be made the next commissioner of police, Mumbai, the Nationalist Congress Party is backing additonal director general (highway traffic) Vijay Kamble.
The current commissioner of Mumbai Satyapal Singh has been due to be promoted to the rank of director general since March last year. However, he has enjoyed an extended term as police chief for almost a year, thanks to the ongoing tussle between the chief minister and home minister.
Officers of the ranks of additional director up to superintendent and below are awaiting their promotions, postings and transfers since over six months. “We have lost interest now, let the government do it whenever it feels like, it does not matter,” lamented a senior IPS officer.
With the election commission likely to announce the date for Lok Sabha polls around February-end or early March, the state government will have to decide soon. “Once the model code of conduct is enforced, no changes can be made till May-end or till June,” said the officer.