Bhaskar Rao replaced Alok Kumar as the new police commissioner of Bengaluru recently. Incidentally, Alok Kumar was the police chief for only 47 days and is most likely to challenge this decision of transfer as he had the shortest tenure at the helm of the office.
Bhaskar Rao received President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2017 and President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2008. He was also honored with the United Nation’s Medal for the Services rendered in International Peacekeeping in warzone (Kosovo, Yugoslavia) in 2000.
Prior to this appointment, Bhaskar Rao served as ADGP Crimes, Technical Services, Forensic lab, ADGP Canine squad, ADGP Directorate Civil Rights Enforcement and as Mysuru Police Commissioner.
Alok Kumar’s Absence Creates Mystery
Mr. Rao is basically from Bengaluru and an IPS officer of 1990 batch who took charge on Friday, August 2 in the evening. However, the process of taking charge of the new post cannot be said to be traditionally complete as in the absence of Alok Kumar the ritual of the predecessor handing over the baton to the successor could not take place.
According to the report, senior officials went to the official residence of the commissioner for escorting Mr. Kumar to the event but came back without him. Mr. Rao said, “The house is locked. I will take charge.” Prior to being appointed as the city police commissioner, Mr. Rao was working as the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Karnataka State Reserve Police.
Now Alok Kumar will fill this post. Mr. Rao stated that he will make community-friendly policing and zero-tolerance to drugs a priority. He further added, “Increasing the trust of citizens in the police will be my motto.” He stated that as a Bengalurean he is honored to serve the city as the chief of the police.
Controversy Around Post Of Senior Officers
Internal sources in the police department have said that Mr. Alok Kumar is most likely to challenge the decision of transfer. It should be noted that the then chief minister of Karnataka H.D. Kumaraswamy, in a midnight reshuffle on June 17 appointed Kumar as the new police chief on the day he was promoted as the Additional Director General of Police.
Sources also said that there was a strong objection from the Congress to this appointment but Kumaraswamy vetoed all of them. The Supreme Court has set a tenure of two years for all the senior officers including IGP and police chief in a landmark decision during the Prakash Singh case.
The verdict of the apex court says, “unless it is found necessary to remove them prematurely following disciplinary proceedings”. Similarly, an amendment to the Karnataka Police Act also allows a tenure of at least one year. Sources believe that Kumar may use these grounds to contest his transfer.
Apart from Alok Kumar, additional commissioner (west) Umesh Kumar was also replaced by B.R.Ravikante Gowda and was downgraded to the post of DIG rank. But within a few hours, these transfers were revoked and Umesh Kumar got his job back whereas Mr. Gowda is now waiting for a post to be assigned to him.
Also, two top police officers who are investigating the death of coffee mogul and founder of Coffee Day Enterprise VG Siddhartha have also been transferred. Such reshuffles are quite common after a new party comes into power.
BJP’s BS Yediyurappa took over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka for the fourth time last month replacing HD Kumaraswamy.