Seeing that the stand-off between police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal and additional chief secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar showed no signs of easing, chief minister Ashok Chavan finally sought the help of chief secretary J P Dange to end the feud.
When home minister RR Patil was unable to engineer a truce, Chavan intervened to ensure the matter was sorted out before the high-profile visit of US president Barrack Obama to the city in November.
Following Chavan’s directives, Dange spoke to Iyengar on Wednesday and told her to sort out the matter at her level and ensure it didn’t affect the VIP visit.
Last week, Iyengar and Dayal locked horns over the transfer of police personnel to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). The tiff had led to Dayal applying for leave for nearly a month, which would end just five days before Iyengar’s retirement. Iyengar had already applied for seven days leave this week. Dayal’s leave is pending with Patil.
The feud had become cause for concern for the government. “He (Dange) told me that it was entirely my jurisdiction and that no one was above the government. I have no intention of going on leave right now,” Iyengar said.
Sanjeev Dayal said, “A meeting was convened on Thursday by the home minister and director general of police D Sivanandhan, additional chief secretary Chandra Iyengar, which I attended. It was about an entirely different matter."
Patil told the media on Thursday that the issue had been blown out of proportion and that he believed the police chief would be present during Obama’s visit. He refused to comment on the leave application saying he had “hundreds of such applications pending”.
Iyengar has been asked to chair a meeting on security for President Obama’s visit. The meetings will begin at regular intervals from Friday at the state secretariat and Dayal is expected to be present.
The stand-off was pertaining to the filling up of vacant posts in the Anti-Terrorism Squad. Dayal had objected to Iyengar discussing and issuing transfer orders that included moving policemen from Mumbai crime branch to ATS.
Dayal had resisted this and offered new recruits. This was shot down by Iyengar and ATS chief Rakesh Maria saying the ATS job was a specialised one and needed experienced hands.