The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana on Thursday removed Kushal Pal Singh as director general of police (DGP) and appointed Baljit Singh Sandhu as the new state police chief—a move apparently aimed at placating a section of BJP legislators and speaker Kanwar Pal.
Sandhu, who hails from Ropar in Punjab is the 1984-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and the third senior-most police officer in Haryana. He will superannuate in September 2018. But, Sandhu is the fourth DGP---after Shriniwas Vashisht, Yashpal Singal and KP Singh---of the 30-month-old BJP government which had come to power in October 2014.
Before being handpicked for the top post, Sandhu was holding a low-profile assignment as chairman and MD of the Haryana police housing corporation.
The government has posted the outgoing DGP, Singh (1985batch) as DG Prisons--a post which was lying vacant after Yashpal Singal retired in March.
Government sources say growing differences between the outgoing DGP and the Vidhan Sabha speaker Kanwar Pal is one of the key reasons behind the early and unceremonious exit of Singh. The speaker who represents Jagadhari assembly segment was perturbed over “various activities, including political” of certain “relatives” of the DGP Singh in Yamunanagar. The grouse of the speaker was that the DGP Singh was allegedly sheltering his relatives whom the speaker wanted to be reined in. Also, a section of the BJP legislators were gunning for the DGP Singh.
The surprising move to remove the DGP comes a year after the government had handpicked Singh in the middle of April 2016 in the wake of statewide Jat agitation.
After drawing flak for its failure to control the February 2016 Jat quota violence in the state, the Haryana government had appointed Singh as the state police chief, replacing Singal.