Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey on Tuesday took voluntary retirement from service, triggering speculations that the outspoken officer would contest the coming state Assembly polls.
Pandey's request seeking voluntary retirement was approved by Governor Phagu Chauhan, a notification issued by the state home department said.
Director General (Homeguards) SK Singhal has been given additional charge of DGP, ADG (Headquarters) Jitendra Kumar told PTI.
Speaking to mediapersons on Wednesday, Pandey said, "I have not joined any political party as of now. If I do, I will tell you about it. As far as social work is concerned, I can do it without entering politics as well."
He added, "I have worked for 34 years with honesty and without bias, and now people are questioning me. I want to tell them that I was devoted to my duty."
Pandey, a 1987 batch IPS officer, was involved in the investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death in Mumbai.
Commenting on the case, Pandey said, "Sushant's father was disappointed with the investigation by the Mumbai Police. He came to me and our FIR was accepted in Supreme Court, which said it was legal and constitutional."
The former DGP had recently been in the headlines for his stout defence of the Nitish Kumar administration when it was under attack from the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra over Bihar Police's probe into the death of Rajput.
He had drawn outrage after saying that the actor's former girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty did not have the 'aukaat' to comment on the Bihar chief minister.
NDTV quoted him on Wednesday as saying about the comment, "Look up the meaning of 'aukat' in the dictionary. It means stature."
He added, "Someone who is an accused (Chakraborty) should not make any comments on a person who holds a constitutional post (Kumar)."
Several political leaders reacted to Pandey's resignation from service and speculation about him joining politics.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "The way that such a senior officer spoke about Mumbai had made it clear that he was part of a political agenda. Today, this has been confirmed. Civil services like the IAS and IPS should be impartial.
TMC MP Mahua Moitra said —
Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey takes VRS- may contest from Buxar for BJP
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) September 23, 2020
News18 quoted Rhea Chakraborty's lawyer Satish Maneshinde as saying, "This is not justice for Sushant Singh Rajput but justice for Gupteshwar Pandey. The request for voluntary retirement by DGP Bihar, and granting of the VRS by Bihar government in 24 hours, is as fast as the Bihar government's transfer of the FIR against Rhea to the CBI and acceptance of it by the Union government."
The Bihar Assembly election is likely to be held in October-November.
Pandey had sought premature retirement to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, but the state government did not accept his VRS application and reinstated him in service.
With inputs from PTI
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