Three officials in the running to fill Bassi's shoes

With Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi retiring on February 29, speculation over the name of the next Delhi Police chief has intensified in the corridors of Police Headquarters.

According to sources, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has sent the names of three senior IPS officers – Alok Kumar Verma, Deepak Mishra and Dharmendra Kumar – to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for consideration for the post.

 The most senior of the three, 1979-batch IPS officer Verma is currently posted as Director General of Tihar Jail. He has served as Special CP (Administration) the number two post in the Delhi Police, Director General of Mizoram, Puducherry, Special CP Intelligence, Vigilance and Joint CP Crime.


Verma  is also considered to be the “natural successor” of Bassi as after 1978-batch officer Vimla Mehra, the senior-most officer in the Delhi Police after Bassi, will retire on the same day as Bassi, thus clearing the succession line.

Although, there is no rule which bars a rank junior to supersede his senior for the post of the Delhi Police commissioner, in the last three terms the trend of senior-most IPS officers being appointed as the Delhi Police Commsioner has been
followed.

Dharmendra Kumar and Deepak Mishra are both 1984-batch IPS officers and are currently Special Commissioners of Police in Delhi. Kumar holds the charge of Special Commissioner of Police (Special Unit) while Mishra is Special CP (Law & Order).

If Verma becomes the Delhi Police chief in March, he shall be in the saddle for 17 months until his retirement, again leaving open the top cop's position for Kumar and Mishra, who are expected to serve 14 and 16 months respectively, even after Verma's scheduled retirement.

Challenges before the new CP are manifold. One among them is to deal with the present Delhi Governmnent.

With the current Delhi governement constantly demanding that the police force is brought under its command, friction between the CM and the Delhi Police CP was a highlight of the stint of the previous CP.

“The commissioner will have to take the cooperation of everyone, especially the Delhi governent, as the governemt is answerable to the people of the city,” says Kanwaljit Deol, former Director General (Investigation) of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)..

“With a limited budget, the Commissioner of Police has to ensure protection for VIPs and keep the crime rate down. Delhi’s ambiguous status makes his role tedious as he often has to struggle between two power centres,” she adds.

Another challenge before the new CP will be to reorganise the police force which has been plagued with the shortage of funds and, more importantly, manpower.

There is no shift-system in the Delhi Police. On an average every policeman is putting in around 16 hours of work dally. “There has to be a rationalisation of it, otherwise the force will not be able to attract quality manpower,” says Deol.

Police modernisation, demarcation between investigation and law and order and efforts to attract the best talent in the police force are some of the initiatives which the present CP started and the new CP will have to take them forward.

“The city is becoming more and more vulnerable for the women. We need a police force which has the capability to deal with the new kind of threats in the form of cyber crime and terrorism that are emerging in the city. We need smart, educated and talented people to become part of the police force. The next CP should have his task cut out for him,” Deol says.

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