Gujarat govt felicitates Ex-DGP P P Pandey, 167 others

The Gujarat government felicitated 168 policemen including former Director General of Police (DGP) P P Pandey with the president police medals for their outstanding service in a grand function held here in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning. These president police medals had been announced between 2014 and 2019 for outstanding policing. 

Pandey was the first name to be announced in the felicitation programme, who was given the medal by the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, at GMDC ground here. It was announced that Pandey's name had been chosen for the President Police Medal in 2014. Pandey was arrested in July 2013 in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case by the CBI. He remained in jail for 19 months before a special CBI court granted him bail in 2015.

He was the most senior police officer arrested in the case along with his junior ex-IPS D G Vanzara, IPS officer G L Singhal, retired Superintendent of Police N K Amin, retired Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot among others. After his bail, the state government promoted Pandey and appointed him as in-charge police chief of the state. 

Later, he had to step down following a public interest litigation moved by ex-IPS officer Julio Ribeiro who challenged Pandey's appointment on the ground that a charge-sheet officer can't be appointed to a sensitive post. Pandey was accused of conspiracy to kill Ishrat Jahan, her friend Javed Sheikh alia Pranesh Pillai and two Pakistani nationals in a fake encounter in 2004. After his retirement, Pandey was discharged from the trial by a special CBI court last year.

The other officers felicitated were ex-IPS officer Mohan Jha, who was part of Gujarat High Court appointed-Special Investigation Team (SIT), which probed the Ishrat Jahan case and found the encounter fake, Inspector General of Police (IGP) G S Malik, currently on deputation with Border Security Force, IG Rajiv Ranjan Bhagat, on deputation with Special Protection Group, among others.

Before giving out the medals on by one, Chief Minister Rupani acknowledged the contribution of police in maintaining law and order and said, "Communal disharmony is a matter of past. We can't let it happen again. This is our responsibility to keep peace and harmony in the state."

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