In a surprising move that has political overtones, the Punjab government has promoted 1982-batch IPS officer Rajinder Singh and 1983-batch officer SK Sharma to the rank of director general of police.
Sharma belongs to Amritsar, where his family has a good influence, and from where Arun Jaitley of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance is contesting.
Proceedings of the government’s departmental promotion committee (DPC) that recommended the promotions were sent to the Election Commission, which on Thursday gave the nod. “We have conveyed to the Punjab government to go ahead with the promotions,” said chief electoral officer VK Singh.
With this, Punjab will now have six DGPs. Suresh Arora, GD Pandey, SS Saini and Sanjiv Gupta are already serving as DGPs.
The swift and secretive action by Punjab home department has surprised many, as Rajinder Singh was not in good books of SAD-BJP government and had been suspended for almost two years after SAD-BJP came into power in 2007. He was also posted as IG (counter intelligence) at Pathankot.
Rajinder is batchmate of Saini, Arora and Sanjiv Gupta, but SADBJP government ignored him even though the DPC in December 2011 had cleared his name, but he was overlooked for promotion for two years. To avoid any controversy, Rajinder was promoted as government wanted to promote Sharma, junior to him, sources said. A powerful lobby pressed for promotion of Sharma, who would retire in 2015, sources said, adding that this paved way for promotion of Rajinder, considered close to former CM Amarinder Singh.