Several top administrative and police officers in Jammu and Kashmir have been removed from powerful positions in the wake of more than two months of killings, protests and shutdowns in the Kashmir Valley.
"People will surely read a lot into these transfers but we wanted to make sure the best people are being moved around," J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told HT on Thursday.
Among top administrative officers shunted out is the state's second most powerful bureaucrat, Financial Commissioner (Home) Samuel Verghese.
The officer, who was functioning virtually as a Home Secretary (the state has no such position) and was second only to the Chief Secretary, has been posted as Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal.
Similarly, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Khurshid Ganai, once considered close to the CM, has been posted as Principal Secretary of the Planning and Development department.
The biggest change in the police force has been the upgrading of the CID chief, K. Rajendra, who has been entrusted with the post of Additional Director General of the Armed Police with additional charge of Law and Order. He will now have the two Inspectors General of Kashmir and Jammu regions reporting to him.
They were earlier reporting to state DGP Kuldeep Khoda.
"The move clips the powers of DGP Khoda," said an official.
Among transfers that have caught Kashmir officials by surprise the most is IG (Kashmir) Farooq Ahmed's replacement by S M Sahai who was removed as IG (Security) during the 2008 Amarnath land row.