Dilbag Singh takes over as new JK police chief

Srinagar: Dilbag Singh took over as the new Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Friday after his predecessor S P Vaid, caught in a verbal duel with the new state administration, was shunted out and posted as Transport Commissioner Thursday night.

Singh, a 1987-batch IPS officer from the state, took over as the new police chief at a simple ceremony. He continues to hold the charge of Director-General (Prisons).

Vaid, a 1986-batch IPS officer, was unceremoniously removed as police chief late last night. It was believed that the reason behind the sudden development was continuous friction over interference in the police work by the state’s bureaucracy.

Vaid has been shifted as Transport Commissioner, a post which was held by Saugat Biswas, a 2006-IAS officer. The post has been upgraded from Additional Secretary to the rank of Secretary. It will be headquartered in Jammu.

Before demitting his office, Vaid expressed satisfaction that he was able to serve the people of the state.

“I’m thankful to the God that he gave me the opportunity to serve my people and my country. I’m grateful to police, security agencies, and people of state for their support and their faith in me. My best wishes to the new DGP,” Vaid said.

“My only concern is the youth which is dying and unnecessary loss of human life. The sooner it ends, the better it would be,” he said.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah has criticised the timing of changing the state DGP, saying there was no hurry to replace Vaid and the state police could do without having to deal with the confusion of leadership.

The state government removed Vaid as the DGP late Thursday night and handed over the charge to DG (Prisons) Dilbagh Singh till a permanent appointment is made.

“There was no hurry to replace @spvaid. He should have been changed only when a permanent arrangement had been worked out. @JmuKmrPolice has enough problems without having to deal with confusion of leadership,” Omar wrote on Twitter soon after the government announced Vaid’s removal.

“Changing the DG is the prerogative of the administration but why a DG as a temporary arrangement? The current DG won’t know if he’s going to stay and others who would like his job will be trying to replace him. None of this is good for @JmuKmrPolice,” Omar said.

However, officials in the know said that Singh would continue as the Director General of Police and all necessary formalities including seeking permission from the UPSC was being taken.