Even as the nation debates the transfer of Uttar Pradesh official Durga Shakti Nagpal for taking on the sand mafia in Noida, the transfer of an IPS officer in Rajasthan has caused indignation in the State. But the State government is playing down the incident.

Superintendent of Police (Jaisalmer) Pankaj Chaudhary was shifted to the post of Commandant, Police Training School, Kishangarh (Ajmer), in a Statewide, pre-election shuffle of police officers on Friday. It has been alleged that Mr. Chaudhary was shunted out for reopening the 48-year-old history sheet of Ghazi Fakir, father of Congress MLA from Pokharan Saleh Mohammad.

But the government has termed the transfer part of a regular administrative process. “This was done as part of the transfers of 49 other IPS officers … on August 2. It was done in the interests of the State and had no relation to anything else whatsoever,” Home Minister Virendra Beniwal said here on Sunday.

Traders observed a bandh in Jaisalmer on Sunday to protest the transfer. Mr. Chaudhary, however, did not say much about the incident.

“These are government orders, and I am abiding by them. The government can always decide if a particular officer is to be retained or transferred,” he told The Hindu.

Asked whether the transfer was triggered by the reopening of Ghazi Fakir’s history sheet, he said: “Maybe.”

Older residents allege that Ghazi Fakir, an extremely influential leader in and around Jaisalmer, was engaged in smuggling and other unlawful activities along the India-Pakistan border. He is also known for his astute “election management skills.”

A history sheet against him was opened in the Kotwali police station in Jaisalmer in July 1965, before it went missing in 1984. It was reopened in 1990, and again closed in early May 2011.