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Bihar DGP takes voluntary retirement, likely to contest assembly poll

Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey. File   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey, a 1987-batch IPS officer, on Tuesday took voluntary retirement from service. He is likely to contest the upcoming Assembly election as a ruling NDA candidate either from Buxar or Shahpur constituency. 

Mr. Pandey, who was appointed as DGP on January 31, 2019, was to retire from service on February 28, 2021. 

Earlier in 2009 too, Mr. Pandey had opted for voluntary retirement to contest the Lok Sabha poll but when he failed to get ticket, rejoined after a few months. 

Late on Saturday evening, the Home department issued the notification granting voluntary retirement for Mr. Pandey effective from September 22 afternoon under the provisions of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958. 

DGP (home guard and fire services) S.K. Singhal was given additional charge of DGP. 

A day after his VRS, Mr. Pandey on a social media post said he might take a plunge into politics and will do “politics of principle”. “I may join politics…is it a sin? is it crime? Is it unconstitutional?...is it unethical?...can’t a poor farmer’s son contest an election after 34 years of unblemished career in police force?” asked Mr. Pandey in his post. 

“But, when I’ll come to politics I’ll do only constructive and positive politics…not to criticise anyone...but my plunge into politics will only be decided by the people of Buxar, my native place from where I’d come into the police force”, he said giving enough hint that he might contest from a constituency in Buxar district. “I had and still have an option to join any constitutional post for three years or, to join any corporate house…I was getting an offer of ₹2 crore annual package but I did not go there because I wanted to serve people.” 

Mr. Pandey has been active on social media with over 7 lakh followers. 

Mr. Pandey also said hundreds of people were calling and messaging him everyday asking “when I would resign to contest the upcoming poll?”. “I was getting about 1,000 phone calls and over 500 messages everyday regarding…so I took VRS from my service five months before my retirement.” “Now, getting an opportunity I’ll contest election to serve people,” he said. 

On his statements on Bollywood actor Sushant death case, he said, “Whatever I’d said all was upheld by the honorable Supreme Court...now I do not have to say anything on this.” He also heaped praise on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying “he has given a free hand to police to reign in crime and that is why there is no organised criminal gang operating in Bihar today”. 

Mr. Pandey, had hit the headlines because of his media statements on the issue.

“Rhea Chakaraborty does not have aukat [stature] to make any comment on the Bihar Chief Minister,” Mr. Pandey, who hails Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as his margdarshak (guide and guardian), told media persons when Ms. Chakraborty had claimed that Sushant’s case in Bihar was driven by political motivations in the light of the upcoming Assembly elections. 

Mr. Pandey was examined by the CBI in an abduction case of a 12-year-old girl from Muzaffarpur town in September 2012. At that time, he was IGP of Tirhut area, under which Muzaffarpur district falls. 

Her father had alleged that the abduction was part of a land mafia ploy to grab his prime land in Muzaffarpur town. Mr. Pandey is one of the accused in the case. 

The case is monitored by the Supreme Court and the investigating agency CBI was granted over 10 extensions to complete the probe. 

Another IPS officer of the State, Sunil Kumar, who had retired from service on July 31, 2020 too is likely to contest the election due in October-November from the Bhore Assembly constituency in Gopalganj district.

The Maharashtra Congress on Wednesday alleged a “dirty conspiracy” to defame Maharashtra by the BJP taking help from Mr. Pandey by using the death of Sushant. 

“Big dirty conspiracy of BJP to defame Maharashtra to reduce its national importance! Bihar DGP who was used in this being blatantly rewarded. His voluntary retirement and quick approval says it all. The BJP has no sympathy for Sushant but saw political opportunity to use his death for Bihar elections and now for new film city,” said Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant. He said there is no doubt that Mr. Pandey who defamed the Mumbai police in the case will soon get a big reward from the BJP from playing his part in the conspiracy. 

“The BJP has no sympathy for Sushant, they have only used his death as an opportunity ahead of the Bihar elections and to discredit Maharashtra,” he said. 

The Congress has also raised questions on the conduct and ongoing investigation by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) headed by Rakesh Asthana, labelling him as the blue-eyed boy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

“The NCB has had an office in Mumbai for many years. Why was there no inquiry in the so-called Bollywood and drug connections so far? Secondly, the ED had called the NCB to investigate the drug angle in the Sushant case. The NCB has not made any arrests so far as per the first FIR registered on 15/2020. The arrests have been made under the second FIR which was registered on 16/2020 which has nothing to do with Sushant death case,” said Mr. Sawant, asking whether the NCB has dropped its probe in the case. 

(With inputs from our Mumbai bureau)

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 7:48:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bihar-dgp-takes-voluntary-retirement-triggers-speculation-of-contesting-assembly-polls/article32672885.ece

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