Controversial cop’s new posting aside, real story is first Tribal Chief Secretary in Chhattisgarh
Shams Ur Rehman Alavi
The Chhattisgarh government affected a bureaucratic reshuffle recently, transferring several IAS and IPS officers.
While many outside the state gave more attention to controversial IPS officer SRP Kalluri’s posting, the most significant outcome of the bureaucratic reshuffle is that a tribal officer, Sunil Kujur, has been made chief secretary of the state replacing Ajay Singh.
This is for the first time that a tribal has occupied the powerful post since Chhattisgarh came into existence. Earlier, tribal officers hadn’t risen above the post of ACS. This is apart from other decisions for tribal outreach, taken in recent days.
Sunil Kujur is an officer of 1986 batch of Indian Administrative Service, as chief secretary. He replaces Ajay Singh who has been sent to the Revenue Board.
Besides, there has been the announcement of posting a tribal as head of Bastar Development Authority. CM Bhupesh Baghel has also said that innocent tribals lodged in jails would be released. Clearly, all these steps together suggest an outreach towards tribals and a strong message to the administration.
Is Kalluri's posting a 'reward'?
SRP Kalluri whose transfer evoked sharp reactions, is a controversial officer who has faced charges of gross human rights violations in Bastar.
The 1994 batch IPS officer who was previously with the Training wing, has now been posted as IG, Economic Offences Wing & ACB. Many felt that it was a ‘reward’ for him. However, Kalluri hasn’t been given the field posting or a key wing in PHQ.
Anybody who is aware of police establishment knows it well that an officer who enjoys clout, loves a field posting or posting in a powerful wing in the PHQ. In the field, there are powers to detain or book people (and a lot more in conflict-prone zones). As Range IG (heading police personnel of several districts), an officer has immense influence—SPs directly working under the officer.
This is perceived as the ‘real power’, as an IG in field has thousands of police personnel in entire range (multiple districts) under his/her command. Away from the field, even in PHQ, the real power lies in wings like intelligence or admin. It may appear 'glamorous' to some but even the top post in EOW is akin to keeping someone in the ‘loop line’.
Practically, there is not much scope for wayward ways of policing here, and it may seem strange but at times officials don’t even have the absolute freedom to register FIRs at will here. Though some positions are believed to be ‘plum’ or ‘punishment’ postings but a posting in EOW is not considered rewarding or powerful.
In the past, it was only when Mukesh Gupta was posted that he brought attention to it, just because of his personality. And hence, many feel that it is a 'powerful post'. After regime change, reshuffles are expected but not everyone is shunted in one go because seasoned politicians don’t want to give impression that certain officials were such formidable adversaries that they had to be shunted immediately.