In major shake-up, 39 senior cops transferred or handed fresh posts
Delhi Police chief Rakesh Asthana on Saturday transferred or handed new posts to 39 senior officers in his first major reshuffle after taking charge as commissioner in July.
Several units within the force, such as a community policing unit or a human resources division, were established for the first time as part of the shuffle, and each will be headed by a special commissioner.
The 39 officers include seven deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) of the south, south-east, central, north, south-west, Dwarka and outer north police districts. The capital has 15 police districts.
Saturday’s reshuffle is significant because DCPs are officers equivalent to superintendents of police (SP) in state police forces, who coordinate with the top brass and junior officers, as well as residents.
Among those transferred were DCP (south-east) RP Meena and DCP (south) Atul Thakur, who were moved to police headquarters. DCP (Central) Jasmeet Singh has been transferred to the special cell, which is the Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit. The special cell will now be headed by six DCPs, up from three earlier.
Officers in Delhi Police said the increase will ensure there is more focus and scrutiny of cases filed or investigated by the special cell. Among several important cases, the cell is probing the Delhi riots conspiracy case and the recent arrest of six men who are allegedly part of a Pakistan-trained terror module.
Among the special commissioners transferred or given new roles, Dependra Pathak, who was special commissioner (special CP) of the intelligence unit, has now been appointed special CP of Zone 1. The zone includes three police ranges — eastern, north and central.
Asthana also appointed Virender Chahal as the head of the traffic police. Chahal, who was the special CP of traffic, is now in charge of the traffic management division.
To ease law enforcement, the national capital has been divided into thousands of beats. A beat may be limited to a single lane, a group of lanes, a housing colony or multiple colonies. The beats within a particular area make up one police station.
Several police stations are clubbed under one police district, each headed by a DCP. Each of Delhi’s 15 police districts has 8-15 police stations. At least two police districts together make up a range. For instance, the north-east and east districts form the Eastern Range. Each range is headed by an officer of the joint commissioner (joint CP) rank. The DCP reports directly to the joint CP. At least two or more ranges form one zone.
Effective Saturday, Delhi will have two police zones. While Pathak is the special CP of Zone 1, Satish Golcha has been appointed special CP of Zone 2, which comprises New Delhi, southern and south-western range.
S Sundari Nanda, who was earlier in charge of the police headquarters, is now special CP of the human resources division, a new unit, which will deal with managing grievances of the 80,000-strong police force, their training and welfare.
Special CP Muktesh Chander, who was in charge of licensing and operations, has been given additional charge of two new units — community policing and the media cell.
“The new police chief has implemented several changes [since he took charge of the force]. Till a few years ago, the special cell had only one DCP. Now there are six. The CP office is now called the CP secretariat. There are also two DCP rank officers, who will help the CP. Many posts, such as human resources, community policing or media cell did not exist,” said a police officer, who asked not to be named. “This change is good. There will be more focus by senior officers. Such new initiatives can only happen when someone from outside comes to lead the force.”
Asthana, an officer of the Gujarat cadre, who was earlier the director-general of the Border Security Force, was on July 17 appointed Delhi Police commissioner. While this is not the first time that an officer from a different cadre has been appointed as police chief, Asthana is the first such appointment in at least 19 years.