Race for Himachal top cop hots up

August 2nd, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Shimla, Aug 2 (IANS) The search is on for an officer to fill the post of the director-general of police (DGP) in Himachal Pradesh after the state’s top cop Ashwani Kumar became the new chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). D.S. Manhas, a 1976 batch IPS officer who is presently posted as additional DGP (CID), has emerged as the “favourite” of the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, well informed sources said.

The state government, the sources said, has set up a three-member screening committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to undertake screening of officers for the top post.

“The government wants its own man on the hot seat as parliamentary elections are due next year,” said a senior bureaucrat requesting anonymity.

In the meantime, the state government has given the additional charge of the DGP to Sohan Singh, a 1974 batch officer, currently the DGP (prisons).

Besides Manhas and Singh, others in the fray, according to the sources, are three officers from the 1974 batch.

They are G.S. Gill, who is currently with the Border Security Force (BSF), controversial B.S. Thind, additional DGP with state human rights commission and Ajit Lal, who is joint director with the Intelligence Bureau.

Thind has had a case slapped against him in June on the complaint of a businessman. The complainant levelled charges of cheating, conspiracy and intimidation.

Deepak Bughai, a 1975 batch officer, is on long leave, while R.N. Gupta and Anirudh Uppal, both officers from the 1976 batch, are on central deputation.

Manhas is at number eight in seniority list followed by Ashok Sood, who is posted as additional DGP (Home Guards).

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