Midnight posting of Alok Kumar raises eyebrows

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar with Suneel Kumar

In a midnight reshuffle of top IPS officers, said to be unusual, the state government on Sunday promoted Alok Kumar as additional director general of police (ADGP) and appointed him the 32nd police commissioner of Bengaluru. He replaces incumbent T Suneel Kumar. The sudden transfers, just as the IMA scam has broken out, has raised eyebrows. 

The decision to appoint Alok Kumar sparked a surprise in bureaucratic and political circles as the officer was in the thick of the illegal lottery sale controversy a few years ago. Interestingly, it was Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who had raised the issue during the previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in his capacity as Opposition leader. Alok Kumar was subsequently suspended and later reinstated following directions by the Union Home ministry pending an inquiry. 

Though the post of police commissioner is a selection grade post, the state government had informally adopted the policy of choosing the senior-most IPS officer of the ADGP rank all these years. However, the government's decision to promote and appoint Alok Kumar overlooking more than 10 senior ADGP rank officers has come as surprise. 

On Monday evening, outgoing commissioner T Suneel Kumar handed over the baton to Alok Kumar marking the change of guard. Suneel Kumar thanked the state government for giving him the responsibility and said he was proud of handling both the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and the "most challenging task" of handling the 13-km funeral procession of actor-turned-politician Ambareesh.

Alok Kumar told DH that there were no organised rowdy elements in the city and that there has been a rise in white-collar criminals. He said criminals involved in ponzi scams are getting away easily since the punishment for such crimes is less severe. 

Alok Kumar added that his priority was to make police stations people-friendly and ensure the common man doesn't visit senior officers to get justice.

First complaint

Minutes after taking charge as commissioner, Alok Kumar addressed a complaint of dowry harassment registered in Bhopal from a woman and her two children living in Vidyaranyapura. She alleged that her husband, who is out on bail, visited her in the city and assaulted her. He gave instructions to the jurisdictional police to take up the issue and arrest the accused of violating the bail conditions. He also instructed the staff to maintain a registry of complainants who visit him and update him on the progress.

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