Cuttack: What’s with the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) in Odisha? With the appointment of senior IPS officer Abhay as the new DGP, the state has witnessed as many as 15 police chiefs in 19 years.
Abhay succeeded BK Sharma, who was removed as DGP by the state government a little over four months after he took office.
Going by the tenure of the DGPs in the state, the average tenure of the top cop has been little more than a year. NC Padhi and Manmohan Praharaj were exceptions, with both staying in office for 3-4 years.
Five days after Naveen Patnaik took oath as the Chief Minister on March 5, 2000, the then DGP, Bana Bihari Panda, had retired from service.
Panda was succeeded by SK Chatterjee whose tenure as DGP lasted for 13 months. After his retirement on April 30, 2001, KD Vajpayee took over the charge till July 31, 2001 (four months).
The next DGP, NC Padhi, held the post from July 31, 2001 to July 31, 2004 (three years). He was succeeded by Bipin Bihari Mishra, who was DGP from July 31, 2004 to June 30, 2005 (11 months).
The disturbing trend of transferring the top cop began during the tenure of Suchit Das, who took over charge as the DGP on June 30, 2005. While his tenure was for two years, he was removed and posted as the chairman of the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC).
Amarananda Patnaik, who succeeded Das, could stay in office for 12 months as he was removed on the night of October 31, 2007, and posted as the DG, Home Guard.
It was for the first time that the State Police headquarters had remained open at midnight on that day as the state government had directed Gopal Chandra Nanda to take charge from Patnaik. But as Patnaik had gone on leave, he was later posted as the member of the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
Nanda, who took charge as the DGP on November 1, 2007, had managed to stay at the office for 10 months till his retirement on September 30, 2008.
However, after Nanda, none of the subsequent DGPs has got the opportunity to remain at the office till their retirement.
Manmohan Praharaj, who had remained as the DGP from September 30, 2008, to July 4, 2012, was removed from his post before his retirement and posted as a member of the SAT.
Prakash Mishra, who succeeded Praharaj on November 6, 2016, had also met the same fate as he was removed from his office on July 6, 2014, and posted as the chairperson of the Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation. But he later went on a central deputation and appointed as the DG, CRPF till his retirement.
The state government later picked Sanjib Marik as the DGP, who took charge on July 6, 2014. He was removed 40 days before his retirement on November 7, 2015, and sent on compulsory leave.
KB Singh, who superseded Binay Behera as the next DGP, took charge on November 8, 2015. However, he was suddenly sacked from his post on August 30, 2017, while he had gone to Sambalpur to review a meeting on the anti-Maoist operations. He was later posted as the chairman of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) and retired on May 31, 2019.
Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, who replaced Singh on August 31, 2017, could not continue in his post till his retirement as he was appointed as a member of Lokayukta on August 8, 2019.
The state government later appointed BK Sharma as the in-charge DGP on August 8, 2019. But after remaining in the post for four months, he was suddenly removed through a Home department notification in the night of November 13 and posted as the officer on special duty (OSD) in the Home department.
The state government which announced the name of Abhay, who is at present the director of the Hyderabad-based Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, appointed DG, Prisons, Satyajit Mohanty as the in-charge DGP till Abhay takes charge as the full-time DGP.