An unprecedented welcome ceremony held in Mansa on Thursday over the joining of the new superintendent of police (headquarters) has not gone down well with senior police officers and even political leaders who attended the event.
Later in the day, the SP was again transferred to the intelligence wing in Chandigarh.
Rupinder Kumar Bharadwaj, who has been serving in Mansa for almost three years as deputy superintendent of police, was recently promoted as SP (headquarters). As he was scheduled to assume office on Thursday, around 200 people, including SSP Mukhwinder Singh, two sitting SAD MLAs, a former MLA and a host of other SAD leaders thronged his office in the district administration complex in the morning. A pooja ceremony was held in the office by a priest and the officer was showered with flower petals before he occupied the chair.
Sources said the ceremony was unprecedented as far as the joining of a new officer is concerned. “The crowd was so excited as if a political leader was assuming the chair,” a local, who attended the event, said.
However, senior police officers expressed surprise over the event. “I believe a government servant should maintain austerity,” said DIG Ranbir Khattra, adding that he was not informed about the event. Another senior officer said such an event should be avoided to escape scrutiny.
SSP Mukhwinder Singh, who attended the ceremony, later expressed surprise over the officer’s conduct. “I was not aware that such a programme had been arranged as he had requested me to “grace his office”. This sort of event is not permissible within the framework of police rules. I have been posted at various places on different posts but have never held any such event.” The SSP denied of having said anything there, as mentioned in a press note released by the district public relations department.
SAD leaders who attended the event later criticised the ceremony. “I attended the event as I thought I was the only invitee, though I was surprised when I reached the office. I am not sure whether a ceremony of this nature should have been held,” said former MLA Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh.
SAD leader Prem Arora, chairman of the District Planning Board, who was also present at the event, later criticised the ceremony. “I was not invited but went there with the SSP. I was left awestruck by the gathering, which is obviously not in sync with the police rules.”
Bharadwaj could not be reached for comment.
Transferred to intelligence wing
Later in the day, Bharadwaj was transferred to the intelligence wing in Chandigarh. Rakesh Kumar, whom Bharadwaj had replaced, has been reinstated as SP (headquarters).