Ousted police chief made Home Guards D-G
THE STATE Government on Friday removed Swaraj Puri as DGP replacing him with AR Pawar, a 1972-batch IPS officer who served as DG (Economic Offences Wing) before his new assignment.
Puri, who had taken charge as DGP in April 2005, has been posted as Director General (Home Guards). For him, the marching orders came a day after the EOW registered a case of fraud against him in connection with his son’s admission to an engineering college in Indore under the NRI quota in 2001.
Incidentally, the State Government posted AR Pawar, head of EOW that was probing the case against Puri, as the new DGP. Pawar will take charge at the Police Headquarters on Saturday.
He was Superintendent of Police (SP) in Shahdol in 1981 when current Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni was district collector. Before Puri, former Chief Secretary Vijay Singh also faced an unceremonious exit during the current BJP government.
Pawar holds a degree of B Tech in Metallurgy from IIT Mumbai and served as SP Bhopal and DIG Bhopal Range in the past. Pawar was on deputation with the CRPF and served in Manipur and Nagaland. He had also undergone anti-terrorism training.
Talking to journalists, Pawar said that he would discharge his duties as State police chief with utmost responsibility. “I would make efforts to live up to the confidence reposed in me by the Government,” the new DGP added.
Puri still has over ten months before he retires. OP Garg, who was DG (Home Guards), has reportedly been transferred to the Economic Offences Wing.
Puri’s son Shreyas Puri and an Indore-based businessman Babulal Somani have also been booked for the charges. The case was registered on the directive of Additional Sessions Judge Akhilesh Pandya on a petition filed by former Indore corporator Mahesh Garg.
The EOW was directed to submit an inquiry report into the alleged fraud by September 27 and complete investigation within a month. According to the petitioner, the DGP had presented documents showing “Babulal Somani” as grandfather of Shreyas to facilitate his son’s admission under the NRI-sponsored quota whereas Puri’s father’s name was shown as Vidya Sagar Puri in the electoral rolls.
Shreyas Puri, who was enrolled for B E course in 2001, passed out this year from Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science, Indore. California-based NRI Somani had paid 16,500 US dollars as tuition fee and caution money. The petition also mentioned Babulal Somani as a ‘hawala’ trader.
An EOW team from Indore, led by SP Yogendra Kushwaha on Thursday, recorded Puri’s statement. Considered close to Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh, Puri was appointed as the DGP last year by the then Chief Minister Babulal Gaur.