Chandigarh, April 3: The Punjab government Thursday sent a panel of three senior police officers to the Election Commission for appointment as the state police chief after incumbent Sumedh Singh Saini went on leave on the poll panel’s directions, officials said.
“Punjab Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh today (Thursday) forwarded a panel of three senior most IPS officers to Election Commission of India for consideration for being appointed/posted as DGP (director general of police) Punjab during the leave period of Mr.S.S Saini, who had applied for leave with effect from April 4,” a spokesman of Punjab’s chief electoral officer (CEO) said here.
Additional CEO Supreet Singh Gulati told media here that the panel consisted of Indian Police Service officer G.D. Pandey (1981 batch), Sanjeev Gupta and Suresh Arora (both 1982 batch).
The poll panel had, earlier this week, ordered the transfer of three deputy commissioners, the police commissioner of Punjab’s largest city Ludhiana and the district police chiefs of Ferozepur, Moga, Fazilka and Mansa districts.
The opposition Congress had last month urged the poll panel to remove Saini, who is facing various court cases, from his post.
Congress party spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira claimed that Punjab’s chief electoral officer (CEO) V.K. Singh had visited Saini’s official residence in Chandigarh for an unofficial “secret” meeting even though a complaint was pending with the poll panl regarding the removal of the DGP from his post to ensure free and fair Lok Sabha elections in Punjab.
The Congress had also levelled allegations that the CEO was not acting on complaints.
The Congress leader said that it was improper for the CEO, who had to ensure fair and free elections in Punjab, to meet with the DGP on whom he had to submit a report to the EC.
Khaira urged the poll panel to examine the impartiality of the CEO for the April 30 general elections in Punjab given the instance of his meeting with the DGP.
Punjab has 13 Lok Sabha seats which go to polls April 30.
–Indo-Asian News Service