BJP, PDP at loggerheads over transfers in police department

Jammu: The transfers in Jammu and Kashmir police department have apparently led to a face-off between coalition partners PDP and the BJP, with each side wishing to patronise their ‘Yes Men’ for higher posts, sources said.
In the absence of consent over appointment of senior police officers to coveted posts, the Home Department has been empowered by the Chief Minister,Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, to “take the decisions at will”.
According to sources, the two partners are facing a tough time to reach a consensus over appointment of police officers, which was evident from the fact that Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, recently lodged a protest over transfers of senior police officers including three Additional Director Generals of Police (ADGPs) without any approval of the cabinet.
“For many months, no major reshuffle has been made in the police department by the cabinet, despite keeping it on the cards.  Due to conflicting postures of coalition partners many positions are vacant,” sources said, and added the government now has transferred four senior officers without cabinet approval.
They said that after formation of the government, there was a minor reshuffle in the police department but not as per the needs of the department.
“There was a dire need of reshuffle in the police department, but due to conflicts within government, the cabinet failed to reach any consensus. However, both parties unanimously agreed to remove officers that were installed by the previous government,” sources said.
They said the issue of  transfers in the police department was discussed several times in the cabinet. Home department also prepared a list of the officers to be transferred, which included district level to range level officers, but it could not be entertained due to differing views of the coalition partners.
Pertinently, the Home Department, whose charge is held by the Chief Minister himself, had issued a circular ordering transfer and postings of three senior IPS officers of the rank of ADGPs and adjusted a DIG and a SSP in Jammu zone.
Following this, the Deputy Chief Minister had told the Chief Minister that transfers and postings of the officers of the rank of ADGPs and adjustments of DIG and SSP can’t be done without approval of the Cabinet. Describing the decision as `violation of coalition dharma’, Dr Nirmal Singh had said all such transfers and postings should be referred to the cabinet for approval.