Bhubaneswar: The sudden late evening move to remove in-charge Director General of Police (DGP) BK Sharma and appoint senior IPS officer Abhay to the post had everyone guessing. This decision of the Odisha government also caught the opposition off guard.
The dramatic reshuffle came minutes after the Odisha government formed a three-member committee comprising of Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathi, Development Commissioner Suresh Mohapatra and Home Secretary Sanjeev Chopra to probe delay in issuing fire safety certificates.
The opposition has criticized the move by terming it as an old habit of the Naveen Patnaik-led government.
Speaking to the media, Congress leader Taraprasad Bahinipati questioned as to how the Odisha government was not earlier aware of the allegations against BK Sharma. “The government has to be blamed for its ignorance. It has become a habit with the government to make such arbitrary decisions. It treats the DGPs like puppets and kick them out at whim,” he said.
Bahinipati said that former DGPs like Amarananda Patnaik, Prakash Mishra and Sanjiv Marik were meted out the same treatment.
In his reaction, BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra said that it was case of trust deficit disorder. “The government does not repose faith in its officials. Those who do not toe its line are humiliated and ousted,” he said.
Deputy leader of the opposition Bishnu Sethi said the Chief Minister should clarify as to what prompted the state government to replace the DGP as the reason cited in the notification is not enough and unjustifiable.
On the other hand, Government Chief Whip Pramila Mallick said it is the prerogative of the state government to pick an efficient senior police officer as the head of the police force and such criticisms are unwarranted.