The Congress government of Punjab on Saturday announced the appointment of senior IPS officer Viresh Kumar Bhawra as the new Director-General of Police of the state. Bhawra will replace Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, who has been facing criticism amidst a row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged security breach.
The Charanjit Singh Channi picked up the 1987 batch IPS officer out of a panel of three officers shortlisted by the Union Public Service Commission. The other two names included IPS officers Dinkar Gupta and Prabodh Kumar.
According to the government order, Bhawra will be in his role for a minimum period of two years from the date of assuming office.
Several politicians from the BJP and the Akali Dal had demanded Chattopadhyaya’s sacking after Modi’s convoy was stuck on a flyover for 15 minutes. Even some Congress leaders including a cabinet minister had demanded action against the outgoing DGP.
Chattopadhyaya was appointed in his role in December last year replacing Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota allegedly at the behest of Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The state government had sent a list of 10 names to the UPSC asking it to shortlist three names for the role. The list of 10 names suggested by the Channi government had also included Chattopaddhyay.
Chattopadhyay retires from service in March 2022. His ouster from the role comes on the day the Election Commission of India announced the schedules for this year’s assembly polls. Punjab will vote on 14 February while the results would be announced on 10 March.