The announcement came just hours ahead of the announcement of poll schedule for the Assembly elections, bringing the code of conduct into place, the Punjab government appointed 1987-batch IPS officer Viresh Kumar Bhawra as the state Director General of Police by replacing 1987-batch Siddharth Chattopadhyaya who was serving as the officiating DGP.
Bhawra landed in a controversy over a security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ferozepur on January 5. On Friday, Chattopadhyaya, along with 13 other officers, was issued a show-cause notice by the home ministry for the “major security lapse”.
An official familiar with the matter said Chattopadhyaya was replaced as his name was not included by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the list of three officers sent to the state government earlier this week and in view of the row over the security lapse.
The two officers other than Bhawra, who was previously the DGP of Punjab Home Guards, in the list were senior IPS officers Dinkar Gupta and Prabodh Kumar. His term shall be for a minimum period of two years from the date of assumption of office in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders,” it added.
Sources said that, Chattopadhyaya was due to retire on March 31. Channi, along with home minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, however, decided to appoint a new DGP amid the row over the PM’s security lapse, the official cited above said on condition of anonymity.