Shunting out of Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid has more to do with internal squabbles than poor security scenario

The posting of Vaid as transport commissioner is seen to be relegating him to an “insignificant post” while the government has ignored many senior officers by giving the additional charge of, “head of the police force to Dilbagh Singh”.

Ishfaq Naseem September 07, 2018 18:33:27 IST
Shunting out of Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid has more to do with internal squabbles than poor security scenario

Srinagar: The change of guard in police with the transfer of Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid and his replacement by Director General, Prison, Dilbagh Singh has got more to do with the feud within the police force than the concerns about security over the recent kidnapping of the family members of police personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Even as the transfer of Vaid came days after the kidnappings of relatives of cops and the militants releasing all the family members of cops after police set free the father of Hizbul Mujahideen top commander, Riyaz Naikoo, the top police officers have always wrangled over their appointment for the job of DGP. Earlier in a video Naikoo said that the kidnapping of the family members of policemen was in reaction to the “burning of some of their houses” and “harassment of their family members”.

Shunting out of Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid has more to do with internal squabbles than poor security scenario

File image of Jammu and Kashmir Police chief SP Vaid. Wikimedia Commons

The differences in the police force came to the fore after the incumbent chairman-cum-managing director of Police Housing Corporation, SK Mishra, made a complaint to the government that instead of Vaid he should have been posted as the DGP in view of his seniority.

Mishra who was replaced as the DG Prisons in February 2018 with Dilbagh Singh after Pakistani militant, Naveed Jutt, escaped from police custody at SMHS hospital in Srinagar, also approached the high court challenging the government decision to post Vaid as the DGP. He contended that he was 1985 batch Indian Police Service (IPS Officer) of Jammu and Kashmir cadre and Vaid was junior to him and belonged to the 86-batch of IPS.

However, the state government in its objections to the writ petition submitted that the Vaid was appointed as the DGP by the state cabinet after “considering the entire service record, merit, eligibility, suitability and qualification of the persons/candidates falling in the zone of consideration and this decision is based on the subjective satisfaction of the State cabinet".

The high court had upheld the decision of the state government to appoint Vaid as the DGP. But the new dispensation of Governor Satya Pal Malik, instead of posting an official on a “permanent” basis has only made an interim arrangement by giving Dilbagh Singh the additional charge of the head of the police force.

The transfer came two days after the government issued an order that “in the interest of administration” it was posting B Srinivas, who was awaiting orders of posting, as the ADGP, CID replacing AG Mir, IPS, who was posted as ADGP Headquarters.

“What interpretation does one make of the government order to replace Vaid? If he had failed to check kidnappings, why did the government give an officer an additional charge? Is it possible to offer security to every family of a police officer or know beforehand the plans of militants?” asked an official, on anonymity.

The decision to transfer Vaid has not even gone done well even within the political circles. Although he was appointed as the DGP by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in December 2016, her predecessor Omar Abdullah tweeted that, “there was no hurry to replace Vaid". “Changing the DG is the prerogative of the administration, but why a DG as a temporary arrangement? The current DG won’t know if he is going to stay & others who would like his job will be trying to replace him.”

Officials in the state administration, who didn’t wish to be named, said that government is considering joint secretary in the office of the National Security Council SM Sahai and special DG police headquarters VK Singh for the post of DGP. However, with the appointment of either of them, the feud in the police will only intensify.  The state cadre IPS officers, DR Doley and Navin Agarwal are more senior to both of them and are on Central deputation.

Sahai had earlier also triggered a controversy after he said that Mehbooba was aware of the presence of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in a house where he was killed in 2016, while as she had made a statement that, “security agencies say they suspected three militants were hiding without knowing who they were. Had I known about him (Wani), I would have given him a second chance in the wake of ongoing economic activity, improving the situation and booming tourism.”

The posting of Vaid as transport commissioner is seen to be relegating him to an “insignificant post” while the government has ignored many senior officers by giving the additional charge of, “head of the police force to Dilbagh Singh”.

Mishra said that the government should follow the rules. “The government must follow the procedure and the IPS service rules,” he said. “The post of DGP as the head of the police force is the level-17 job and an apex scale of IPS, the other DGPs like that of Home Guards and Prisons are considered to be junior and fall in the level-16 category. Apex scale is the highest level. There is a rule which has been also confirmed by the Supreme Court that the DGPs position as head of the state is a promotion. When you promote someone, you have to follow a procedure,” he said.

Vaid earlier tweeted that “it required a lot of courage” to fight militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. But he told Firstpost that he will take over as the transport commissioner.

Official sources however also see the transfer of DGP as more of a new administrative reshuffle by Governor Malik, which is apart from the “transfers of the staff of Advisors and of the bureaucrats in civil administration which have been effected in the last few days”.

Updated Date:

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