The Punjabic congressional government on Saturday announced the appointment of senior IPS officer Viresh Kumar Bhawra as the new director general of the state police. Bhawra will replace Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, who has come under criticism amid an argument over the alleged security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Charanjit Singh Channi chose the IPS officer for the 1987 batch from a panel of three officers shortlisted by the Union Civil Service Commission. The other two names included IPS agents Dinkar Gupta and Prabodh Kumar.
According to the government decree, Bhawra will hold office for a minimum period of two years from the date of taking office.
Several politicians from the BJP and Akali Dal had demanded the dismissal of Chattopadhyaya after Modi’s convoy was stranded on a flyover for 15 minutes. Even some congressional leaders, including a minister, had demanded action against the outgoing DGP.
Chattopadhyaya was appointed to his post in December last year to replace Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, allegedly at the request of the President of the Punjab Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The state government had sent a list of 10 names to UPSC asking it to shortlist three names for the post. The list of 10 names suggested by the Channi government also included Chattopaddhyay.
Chattopadhyay retires in March 2022. His ouster comes the day the Indian Election Commission announced the timetable for this year’s parliamentary elections. The Punjab will vote on February 14 while the results will be announced on March 10.