Uttar Pradesh additional director general of police Arun Kumar Thursday proceeded on long leave, leading to speculation that he took the step over political interference in police work.
Official sources confirmed that the second seniormost police officer in the state had gone on leave, but refused to speak on the reasons behind it.
Arun Kumar, said to be with an impeccable service record and known for his uprightness and honesty, has been for some time now considering going on deputation to the central government.
He had served as joint director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a few years back and was the officer-in-charge of the Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj murder case.
He returned to his parent cadre during the Bahujan Samaj Party government, but was sidelined with a posting in the technical services.
He was elevated as the additional director general of police by the Akhilesh Yadav government a few months back after spiralling crime contributed to the falling popularity of the Samajwadi Party government.
Arun Kumar had camped for a week in the violence-hit Muzaffarnagar region and only moved out after normalcy was restored.
A total of 48 people were killed and more than 43,000 displaced in communal clashes that erupted Sep 7 and lasted for three days.
He was critical of the penal action taken against police officials while Indian Administratice Service (IAS) officials were spared.
Known among his peers as a man who puts duty above everything else, Arun Kumar reportedly became uneasy in the past few months after incidents of growing political interference.
"I am sure something serious must have happened that Arun has taken such a step," a retired IPS official told IANS.
Director general of police Devraj Nagar and principal secretary RM Srivastava refused to comment on the matter.