Notwithstanding vehement opposition by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Himachal Pradesh government has sent a reminder to the Union finance ministry to repatriate state cadre police officer Bhupinder Negi who’s been on deputation and posted as assistant director at Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Notably, Negi was leading the probe in a forex violation case against Subash Ahluwalia, the principal private secretary to chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
Soon after its decision to repatriate Negi, the government had drawn flak from the opposition that even staged a walkout from the Vidhan Sabha over the issue during the recently concluded monsoon session.
The BJP had accused the government of trying to suppress the inquiry against Ahluwalia and also threatening Negi.
Besides, Negi had accused the chief minister’s office of threatening him of dire consequences, an allegation that the CM has refuted.
Soon after the Vidhan Sabha session that concluded on August 31, Virbhadra, who holds the home portfolio, convened a meeting of officials from the police and home departments. The closed-door meeting was attended by chief secretary P Mitra and director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kumar.
Thereafter, the government sent a reminder to Union finance ministry to send Negi back to the state cadre, while citing shortage of officers of the rank of additional superintendent of police (ASP).
There are 33 ASPs in the state of which one is on central deputation and another is on a United Nations Organisation Mission overseas.
To substantiate the shortage of officers, the government has simultaneously written to the ministry of home affairs to call ASP Rajesh Chaudhary back from the United States.
“There is shortage of officers in both the Indian Police Services (IPS) and Himachal Pradesh Police cadres,” DGP Sanjay Kumar told HT.
Negi was posted as assistant director at ED’s sub-office in Shimla ever since it was inaugurated in 2013. Negi’s threeyear term in the ED will expire in June 2016. Interestingly, the state government itself had given a no-objection certificate for Negi’s central deputation.
Negi had summoned Ahluwalia, a retired IAS officer, a number of times to record his statement in the forex violation case, but the latter did not present himself before the ED office. He eventually appeared before the ED on August 26 after the case was transferred to Chandigarh.
Negi had said, “The decision for repatriation stems out of Ahluwalia’s personal malice against me.”
Negi had also accused Ahluwalia of stalling his elevation to the post of deputy director in ED by not issuing an NOC.
The home department had earlier on July 22 written to the finance ministry stating that Negi was an officer of ASP rank, and about 10 functional posts of ASPs were lying vacant in the state. Due to this, the working of the police department was adversely affected and, therefore the government would not be in position to spare the services of the said officer, it had stated.
State govt's contention