Gujarat gets Muslim police chief

February 21st, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, Feb 21 (IANS) Shabbir Hussain Shekhadam Khandwawala was Saturday named Gujarat’s new police chief, seven years after the state was enveloped by communal violence.
Khandwawala, a 1973 Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and a Muslim by faith, succeeds P.C. Pande, who was the Ahmedabad police commissioner when the 2002 violence took place.

The Gujarat government announced a major reshuffle in the police force ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

According to an official statement, Khandwawala was director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), a post that now goes to Pande.

Pande, a 1972 batch IPS officer, was accused of inaction during the 2002 attacks on Muslims. The Election Commission had ordered Pande’s transfer ahead of the December 2007 assembly elections.

S.K. Saikia, a 1977 batch IPS officer, has been named the Ahmedabad police commissioner. Incumbent O.P. Mathur will be the commissioner of communication.

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