Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has appointed Rizwan Ahmed as the new Director General of Police. An 1978 batch IPS officer, Mr. Ahmed, who assumed office on Tuesday, will hold the top police post in the State for 59 days as he is due to retire on February 28, 2014.

Mr. Ahmed becomes only the second Muslim, after Islam Ahmed served as the IG Police in 1971 ( the State police chief then was known as IG Police), to have become the UP police chief. Significantly, the Chief Secretary of the State is also a Muslim (Javed Usmani ), which meant that for the first time in Uttar Pradesh the top two administrative and police officials are from the minority community.

Mr. Ahmed, who, prior to assuming the new charge, was the DG, Government Railway Police (GRP), was made to supersede four police officers of the 1977 batch — Vinod Kumar Singh, Arun Kumar Gupta, Brij Lal and Suvrat Tripathi. Mr. Ahmed’s name was being mentioned in the police circles as the next DGP after Devraj Nagar’s retirement on December 31, 2013. Since, the Chief Secretary was also a Muslim it was said that the Government may avoid making a Muslim the UP police chief.

Among the other contenders for the top office were the DG, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) Ranjan Dwivedi, an IPS officer of the 1979 batch, another officer of the 1979 batch, A.L. Banerjee, presently the Director (Vigilance) and the DG (Police Housing Corporation) Arun Kumar Gupta.

That Mr. Ahmed will indeed be the next DGP was known at a tea party hosted by the outgoing police chief, Devraj Nagar on Tuesday. Mr. Nagar, was earlier in the day given the ceremonial send off. Present in the tea party were the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary (Home) Anil Kumar Gupta. The new DGP assumed charge at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday.