J&K police chief SP Vaid shunted out

In a major reshuffle in Jammu and Kashmir, after the appointment of a senior BJP leader as its Governor, the state Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid was transferred and posted as a transport commissioner in the same state. Dilbagh Singh, a 1987 batch IPS officer, will take charge as the new DGP. He will also hold the post of DG (Prisons).

The reshuffle came as Centre and the new governor Satya Pal Malik were not happy over the spike in the incidents of militancy in the Valley, especially the abduction of 12 relatives of policemen by the militants in south Kashmir last week. All 12 were freed unharmed after the father of a top Hizbul Mujahideen fighter was released.

The incoming DGP Dilbagh Singh said that the biggest challenge for him will be to maintain peace in the state. There are several challenges, like the upcoming urban body election and panchayat polls, he added. Singh, who is from Amritsar, beat two other officers — SM Sahai and VK Singh — to become the DGP.

Vaid served as the J&K DGP during the much touted Operation All Out in 2017. Sources said that the Centre had decided to transfer him at least twice previously, but couldn’t give the volatile circumstances in the state.

In a late night tweet, former CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, “There was no hurry to replace SP Vaid. He should have been changed only when a permanent arrangement had been worked out. Jammu and Kashmir Police has enough problems without having to deal with confusion of leadership.”

People’s Democratic Party leader Wahid Para said, “Transfers are a part of the process but the government should take policy steps. What’s happening on ground needs empathy and [a] healing touch. Only political outreach will serve the cause of peace. Nothing else will compensate.”

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