An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in Uttar Pradesh has been transferred a staggering 59 times in his careeer, while 43 of his colleagues have been shifted more than 40 times, a Right To Information (RTI) query has revealed.
The officers who have been shunted in and out include two directors general of police (DGPs), 14 additional directors general of police (ADGPs), 13 inspectors general of police (IGPs), 10 deputy inspectors general of police (DIGs) and four superintendents of police.
The "record" is held by 1983 batch officer KL Meena, an ADG, while the DGPs are Arun Kumar Gupta (45 times) and Vinod Kumar Singh (43 times).
The information was provided by the state home department to social activist Nutan Thakur, who sought to know the average duration an IPS officer served in a posting. While it is a fact that postings in the state are largely dependent on the whims and fancies of their political masters, this is the first time a detailed time span of senior IPS officers has been mapped.
Due to these frequent transfers, the average number of times 14 DGPs have been shifted comes at 36.4. An IPS officer becomes a DGP after around 32 years of service. Hence, on an average, these DGPs were transferred at least once in a year.
Similarly, the ADGs have been transferred on an average 35.9 times so far in their careers. The figure stands at 31.8 for IGs and 29.7 for DIGs.
Thakur pointed out that the transfers were in stark contravention of a Supreme Court order in the Prakash Singh case that the minimum tenure of police officers shall be two years.
Admitting they were the "order of the day", former DGP Vikram Singh admitted that frequent transfers, rather than serving the purpose of those who ordered them, harmed the all-round interests of the state.
"The statistics are shocking but that's how things are in Uttar Pradesh," he said.