Delhi police commissioner gets extension till Feb-endUpdated: Jan 30, 2020, 23:41 IST
New Delhi: Delhi police commissioner, Amulya Patnaik who was to retire on Friday has been given a month’s extension by the Union home ministry after the Election Commission gave its nod.
Earlier, the MHA had written to the Election Commission seeking permission for extending his tenure because the national capital is currently under the model code of conduct ahead of the assembly election on February 8. The EC on Thursday approved the MHA’s decision.
A senior officer of the home ministry, who did not wish to be named, said, “The EC has allowed the home ministry to extend the tenure of Patnaik till February end.” The officer added that although a panel is being prepared to select the new police commissioner, it was decided to let him continue.
Until late Thursday night, the ministry did not officially issue a statement on the reasons for extending Patnaik’s tenure. Many in Delhi police said the ministry could have arrived at this decision to ensure that there is continuity of leadership at the top during the assembly election. The counting of votes is on February 11.
Patnaik was appointed the city police chief on January 17, 2017. He had replaced Alok Verma, who had been appointed as the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Many officers in Delhi police said this is the first time in the history of the force that a commissioner has been given an extension. When Patnaik was appointed the commissioner in 2017, he had superseded two senior officers, Dharmendra Kumar and Deepak Mishra of the 1984 cadre. Patnaik is an officer of the 1985 batch.
In the past few months, the city police have faced criticism over their handling of many issues, such as the clash with the lawyers at Tis Hazari court, the assault on students of Jamia Milia Islamia, the mob attack inside JNU where Delhi police waited outside the university gate when the violence was going on inside the university. The police are yet to arrest or identity the members of the mob that assaulted the students with rods, sticks and a sledge hammer. Also on Thursday, the Delhi police personnel were spotted standing on the road, while a teenager holding a gun stood in the middle of the road, shouted slogans and fired at the protesters outsider Jamia Millia Islamia.