Soon after being sworn in for the second consecutive term, the SAD-BJP government has brought back as senior superintendents of police (SSPs) five Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers who were transferred by the Election Commission of India (EC) during the assembly polls in January.
At the same time, the government has sent back to the police headquarters at Chandigarh the five Indian Police Service (IPS) officers who had been posted by the EC in place of the PPS officers during the polls.
The five PPS officers - Gurpreet Singh Gill, Indermohan Singh, Surjit Singh, Snehdeep Sharma and Sukhdev Singh - have been posted as police chiefs in the same districts from which the EC had shifted them.
Gill has been brought back as Patiala police chief in place of DP Singh, Inder Mohan at Muktsar in place of Harsh Bansal, Surjit Singh at Barnala to replace Dhanpreet Kaur, Sharma at Moga in place of Amarbir Singh and Sukhdev Singh at Mansa in place of Pradeep Yadav.
Sources said these PPS officers had been brought back in place of IPS officers to head the districts on the directions of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who during his previous tenure was also the home minister.
The state government issued the transfer orders of the SSPs simultaneously with the orders of appointing Sumedh Singh Saini as the new DGP of Punjab in place of Anil Kaushik, who has now been posted as chairman-cum-managing director of the Punjab Police Housing Corporation.
DGP Rajan Gupta has been posted as DGP, Punjab State Human Rights Commission, and DGP Sanjiv Gupta will head the security and vigilance wing of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) at Patiala.
DGP Suresh Arora, who was the Punjab intelligence chief during the previous SAD-BJP government, has so far not been given any post. DGP Shashi Kant and DGP GD Pandey continue to head the jails department and Home Guards, respectively.
The alacrity with which the police transfers have been initiated surprised many in the police department. “The Akali-BJP government has been quick to get back its favourite PPS officers even before the cabinet ministers could get their portfolios.
Probably, Sukhbir has tried to send out a message to the EC that its decision to transfer the PPS officers during the polls was not wise,” said a senior police officer.