he appointment of 1984-batch IPS officer AP Maheshwari as the new Director-General of the CRPF came as a surprise to some observers. Maheshwari took over from ITBP Director General SS Deswal who was holding additional charge of CRPF after the superannuation of its previous DG Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar last month.
Maheshwari now heads India’s largest paramilitary force which has 3.25 lakh personnel and leads the country’s anti-Naxal operations and counter-terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir until his superannuation next year. It is his third tenure in CRPF, in which the UP-cadre officer has served in several capacities over nine years. He has served as DG, Bureau of Police Research and Development, and also as Special DG (Operations) in the Border Security Force, besides serving as IG (Operations) and IG (Srinagar Sector) in CRPF itself.
Before this appointment, Maheshwari was serving as Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It is odd, sources say. According to them, it is unusual for a special secretary to be shifted to operations. The only other reasoning could be that Maheshwari is being rewarded for his service by the establishment.
Tug of war
Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij has reportedly written to the state Home Secretary Vijai Vardhan seeking disciplinary action against the CID chief Anil Kumar Rao, a 1984-batch IPS officer. Further, Vij has demanded that Rao be replaced by another 1984-batch officer Shrikant Jadhav. It is felt that the home secretary will most likely to acquiesce to Vij’s demand.
This is also not the first time that the minister has shown displeasure with the functioning of the state CID. For some time now, he has locked horns with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar over who should run the department. He had set up a three-member panel headed by Vardhan to suggest measures to improve the working of the department.
Traditionally, the CID has been under the charge of the Chief Minister, but Vij has a different view and is unwilling to let Khattar run the CID. Unfortunately, the CID chief seems to have become the victim in the ongoing tug of war between the state’s home minister and the chief minister. No matter who wins the tussle, the functioning of the state CID is suffering.
Shunted out amid controversy
The recent reshuffle of babus in Maharashtra was unexceptional except for one detail. Ashwini Bhide, the managing director (MD) of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) was moved out by the state government. It was a matter of time, say observers, ever since Aditya Thackeray became the state Culture and Environment Minister. Last year he had publicly demanded Bhide’s transfer for ordering the felling of trees at the Aarey Colony in Mumbai as part of the Metro project. That was around when the government formation in the state was still in limbo and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had not yet been formed.
Bhide, a 1988-batch IAS officer had been a strident defender of the Metro shed project and had drawn the ire of green activists as well as political parties. She has been replaced by Ranjit Singh Deol, who is currently vice chairman and MD of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. Interestingly, her transfer comes just days after she was elevated to the post of principal secretary.
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