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Lobbying on for city police chief, but will CM oblige?

Posted by on July 27, 2011 0 Comment

Senior cops hoping for greener pastures under new DGP V Dinesh Reddy have been put in a suspense mode.

High-level sources told TOI that following immense pressure from several ministers and politicians to appoint the men of their choice in key posts in the state and city police, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is mulling over the principle of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao and follow the ‘no decision is my decision’ approach rather than oblige his colleagues by effecting the requested changes. But there is a buzz in official circles that Kiran could initiate a massive transfer later this week.

Among the posts for which there is much clamour is that of Hyderabad police commissioner. 1981 batch IPS officer Abdul Khayum Khan was appointed the 59th police commissioner of Hyderabad in January 2010, and according to sources, the powers-that-be are keen to reward their loyalists with this highly sought after posting.

PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana is batting for N Sambasiva Rao, former police commissioner of Visakhapatnam, while another powerful lobby is pitching for Sudeep Lakhtakia, who has had a long tenure of over seven years in central deputation as IG with the Special Protection group (SPG) and wants to come back to the state provided it is luring. Both Rao and Lakhtakia belong to the 1984 batch of the IPS and none of them has any great reputation.

While the chief minister is under pressure from his senior ministerial colleagues with regard to these two candidates, DGP Dinesh Reddy is said to be pushing for 1986 batch officer and IG, intelligence, M Mahender Reddy, to be made the top city cop. “Not only does the DGP want to make Mahender Hyderabad police chief, he also wants to elevate Khan as additional DG, intelligence. If that indeed happens, Khan will become the first Muslim officer to become the intelligence chief in AP,” said the sources.

While there is no indication as to when and if these changes could take place, the negative lobbying is very much in play. “Lakhtatia, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, is being projected by his rivals as out of tune with the state’s developments and therefore, not a right choice, while Sambasiva Rao, is being described as an officer belonging to the Seemaandhra region (Prakasam district) whose appointment will not go down well among those Telangana protagonists currently on an agitation path. And it is being pointed out that Mahender Reddy did not have a good record in tackling law and order while serving as Cyberabad police commissioner as also in intelligence work,” said the sources.

Faced with the intense pressure, Kiran Kumar Reddy has so far preferred to pursue with status quo. “Changing the Hyderabad police commissioner at this juncture may not be a wise move. The CM is being counseled that it would be better to wait for at least another two or three months before effecting a change. Like Narasimha Rao, the CM is inclined to sitting on the files and let things take their own course,” said one official. Incidentally last DGP Aravinda Rao was strongly was backing Greyhounds boss Anurag Sharma as Hyderabad police commissioner. But now his chances have receded.

But going by past record, Kiran Kumar is being unpredictable on these issues. After sitting on the file with regard to the appointment of additional commissioner, crime, Hyderabad, for over six months, the CM suddenly appointed Amit Garg to the post a few weeks ago. Some appointments are due already, like that of Dinesh’s Reddy’s former posting, vigilance and enforcement director general, of which the DGP is still holding additional charge. Besides, two senior officers, Balwinder Singh (1976) and S K Jayachandra (1978) are set to superannuate in December. Will the CM wait or make his moves? That is the guessing game going on in the police department at present. TOI

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