New Delhi: In a rare punishment to a senior CRPF officer, an Inspector General of the paramilitary force posted in Kashmir was today demoted after discrepancies were found in his physical fitness records.
The order to demote SS Sandhu, at present posted as IG (Operations) in Kashmir, was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs which said he would now be posted as Deputy Inspector General at the CRPF Headquarters in New Delhi.
It said the 11 September 2012 order of promotion of Sandhu, a CRPF direct recruit, is hereby recalled and that he should immediately report to the headquarters of the paramilitary force for duty.
It is perhaps for the first time in the 74-year-old history of the three-lakh strong CRPF that a senior officer has been demoted.
Efforts to reach Sandhu for his comments did not materialise as he was neither answering his phone nor replying to messages sent to his mobile.
Sandhu, during his tenure in the Kashmir Valley, had been at loggerheads with the state police and had opposed many people-friendly measures being taken by the state government.
The state administration had also raised the issue with home ministry and sought his replacement, official sources said.
The officer came under he scanner after he had challenged the medical board's recommendation of declaring him unfit for promotion and suo motu submitted a report from another panel of doctors, which was not authorised as per the CRPF rules.
A meeting was recently held by the Union home secretary during which a fresh panel of AIIMS doctors was formed which examined him and found him unfit for promotion.
Sources said the CRPF top brass was in favour of handing over the case to the CBI for a thorough investigation, the said.