For new Punjab Police DGP Dinkar Gupta, tackling infighting in top brass foremost challenge
Punjab’s new DGP Dinkar Gupta has inherited a turf war that is no longer under the wraps and is not just known within the confines of the police headquarters, said a former DGP of the state.Updated: Feb 08, 2019 16:35 IST
The immediate and foremost challenge for 1987-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Dinkar Gupta, who took charge as Punjab director general of police (DGP) on Thursday, will be to deal with infighting within the force’s top brass divided into different camps.
The wrangling among senior Punjab Police officers is an open secret. DGP (special task force) Mohd Mustafa, whose name did not figure on the panel sent by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to the state to finalise one name for the top post, has already announced that he will challenge the selection in the Supreme Court, a move that may further intensify the internal feud.
DGP (PSPCL) Sidharth Chattopadhyaya, whose name also did not figure on the panel despite being senior to Gupta, is also reportedly mulling to move court. “Dinkar inherits a turf war that is no longer under the wraps and is not just known within the confines of the police headquarters. It has repeatedly come out in public domain and the force is divided into different camps where some officers align themselves with the Sumedh Singh Saini group (former DGP) while others with the Mustafa group. Dinkar has to start afresh and take everyone along,” a retired DGP said.
A professional approach and non-controversial record provide Gupta an edge over others as DGP. He is also seen as an officer who never aligned himself with any political party throughout his career and always chose the middle path.
As DGP, Gupta will get support from chief minister Amarinder Singh who has fully backed his candidature for the top post by rejecting his “family friend” Mustafa’s claim for the post. Gupta is scheduled to retire in 2024.
Another big advantage for the new DGP is that as the state intelligence chief he had groomed a core team of professional officers who recently cracked various terror modules and eliminated gangsters in encounters.
What clinched the deal for Gupta
Senior officials privy with the selection of the new DGP say Gupta, a low-profile professional who has most of the time worked behind the scenes, was preferred over others, mainly Mustafa, because of his range of experience and cool-headed approach.
Considered an alter ego of outgoing DGP Suresh Arora, Gupta is cast in Arora’s mould of working with a cool and conscious approach. Many in the CM office, including the CM himself, were fond of his working style as says as DGP intelligence.
The CM, say officials, was not in favour of Mustafa because of he is considered a ‘man with political ambitions’ as his wife Razia Sultana is a cabinet minister in the state. The CM was also upset over the way Mustafa was exerting pressure on him through the Congress high command.
“The CMO was also worried that Mustafa as DGP would have become another power centre in the state and Amarinder was aware as how some leaders who don’t want to see him as CM were guiding Mustafa to lobby hard,” a senior officials at the CMO said.
Moreover, Gupta’s good connect with national and international intelligence agencies keeping in mind the recent spate of pro-Khalistani activities gave him an edge over others.
Also, Gupta hails from Patiala, the CM’s hometown and is a passout from Yadvindra Public School (YPS), Patiala, of which Amarinder is patron.
“I will try to carry forward the commendable work done by Mr Arora, in line with chief minister Amarinder Singh’s vision to make Punjab free of drugs and gangsters,” said Gupta.