DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
Amid reports indicating resentment over reappointment of senior IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu as anti-drug STF chief, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said any police official unhappy with his orders was welcome to leave the state and seek deputation with the central government. Amarinder’s warning against indiscipline came after a report in a section of media suggested that there was resentment in some senior police officers against Sidhu’s posting.
Taking note of the report, the chief minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, said it was his prerogative to transfer or post any police officer in the interest of the state.
“Any objection to the move amounted to indiscipline, for which there was no place in any police force. If any officer has problems with his orders, such an officer can say so and seek a deputation with the Centre,” an official release said quoting the CM.
However, he had not received any complaints on Sidhu’s re-appointment from any quarters, the release said.
The CM also denied reports appearing in a section of the press that IPS officer Sidhu had written to him and sought a central deputation.
The decision to re-appoint Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Sidhu as Special Task Force (STF) chief comes amid reports of drugs becoming an issue again in the state.
Amarinder reiterated that his government remained committed to the elimination of the drug menace.
On Thursday, ADGP Sidhu was given back the charge of anti-drug STF chief, nearly a year after he was removed from the post in September last following reports of a tussle between him and the then DGP Suresh Arora which became a cause of embarrassment for the Congress government.
ADGP Sidhu, who was holding the charge of special principal secretary to the chief minister, replaced STF head Gurpreet Kaur Deo, who has been given the post of ADGP (Crime).
The chief minister has been pleading for a national drugs policy to tackle the problem in Punjab where drugs are being smuggled not just from across the Indo-Pak border but also from other states such as Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat.
After coming to power in 2017, Amarinder had set up the STF to combat drug menace in Punjab. The CM had handpicked Sidhu, who was at that time on central deputation in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh, to head of the STF.