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Thane to get new CP

Monday, January 03, 2011
By Carol Andrade

Arup Pattnaik, Satyapal Singh and K.P. Raghuvanshi, strong contenders for the post

With the retirement of Thane’s police commissioner S.P.S. Yadav  over the New Year weekend, observers are already speculating over the new CP of the city and the fall-out of this appointment in Mumbai as well.

In fact, the next two months till the end of February should throw up some interesting IPS movements, with a couple of high-profile appointments in the pipeline.

There are three contenders for the Thane position -- Additional DG (Traffic) Arup Pattnaik, Addl DG (Establishments) Satyapal Singh and Addl DG  (ATS) K.P. Raghuvanshi.

According to sources, expectations favour the first two, but it is possible that Raghuvanshi could be appointed, and if he is, then the first two enter another interesting race for the post of the CP, Mumbai.

Currently held by Sanjeev Dayal who has acquitted himself  very well in the time he took over from A.N. Roy, the vacancy will arise if (and this is an IF) he is promoted to fill the shoes of D. Sivanandhan, right now the state DG, expected to retire end-February.

Another retirement on the cards is that of DG (Housing) P.P. Srivas-tava, on January 31, leaving one more vacancy to be filled.

Supersessions within the force, once unheard of, have over the past couple of years become the norm, as the state government fights to place the most capable candidate in the most important posts. Dayal upstaged two of his own batchmates to become the police commissioner of Mumbai to the city’s advantage, since he offered both stability and an uncompromising attitude to upholding law and order.

In Dayal’s own batch, actually Sridevi Goel, the state’s first woman IPS officer who joined in 1977, is senior to him, but unlikely to be disturbed from her position as head of the police academy in Nashik. P.P. Shamra comes next, then Pattnaik and Satyapal.

Both the latter are known as strong, clear-headed, capable officers. Satyapal Singh is still remembered for his run-in with Ramesh Bagwe, minister of state for home, when he was the police commissioner of Pune, a post from which he was summarily transferred for embarrassing the government with allegations against its minister! However, many feel he was victimised when he was sent to the state police establishments division.

In the end, however, it is the state government that will make the decisions, sometimes a surprising one. All the public can do is sit back and watch the show.

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