Punjab governor and Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday wrote back to chief minister Bhagwant Mann, accusing him of shooting off a letter on IPS officer and UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal’s repatriation and raising “unnecessary issue of Punjab vs Haryana” in this connection without ascertaining facts.
SERIOUS INPUTS OF CHAHAL’S ‘MISCONDUCT’: GOVERNOR
In his two-page reply, Purohit, while attributing the police officer’s premature repatriation to serious inputs regarding his “misconduct”, wrote to Mann that the state government was informed about the decision to repatriate Chahal along with the request to send a panel of IPS officers for appointing his successor. “Since during this period you were busy campaigning in the Gujarat assembly elections, it was not possible for me to contact you,” he wrote.
The governor said the contents of Mann’s letter demonstrate that due care was not taken to ascertain facts and despatch it for had that care been taken, such a letter could not have been written in the first place.
The Chandigarh administration had on Monday repatriated Chahal to Punjab, his parent cadre, without asking for a panel even as he had 10 months left of his three-year tenure. His charge was given to SSP (traffic) Manisha Chaudhary, a Haryana-cadre IPS officer.
The decision was labelled as being “anti-Punjab” by political leaders of the state. Mann shot off a letter on Tuesday and objected to the UT administration’s decision to hand over the charge to Chaudhary after the repatriation of Chahal.
CHIEF SECY INFORMED ON NOVEMBER 28
The governor, while detailing in his reply the sequence of events leading to the officer’s repatriation, informed Mann that he had conveyed his decision to remove Chahal to the state government. “When serious inputs started coming about the misconduct of UT SSP Chahal, I ascertained their authenticity from reliable sources, after which, I communicated telephonically with the chief secretary, Punjab, on November 28, 2022, my decision to remove UT SSP Chahal from the critical post. At the same time, I advised him to send a panel of efficient IPS officers for the post of SSP, UT,” he wrote.
The governor said that UT DGP Praveer Ranjan also met the Punjab chief secretary at 4.30pm on November 30 and narrated the details of the case. He too requested for a panel of names to be sent by the state government. The same day, according to the letter, the UT adviser also talked to the Punjab chief secretary over phone and made a request for sending the panel.
CHAHAL MET GOVERNOR ON NOVEMBER 30
Purohit said the Punjab chief secretary had met him at 5.30pm the same day and was advised to send the panel of IPS officers as early as possible. He said Chahal had called on him on November 30 and was clearly told that he had to go back to his Punjab cadre.
“You also raised the unnecessary issue of Punjab vs Haryana in this connection, which is not applicable in this case as it is an ad hoc appointment, for a short period i.e. for a week or two,” the governor wrote, telling Mann that he should have considered these aspects before writing the letter.
Purohit pointed out to the chief minister that he wrote a letter to him on Tuesday about a serious complaint of custodial rape and extortion by Punjab Police officer Ashish Kapoor. “The complaint was made by AAP’s MLA North (Amritsar) Vijay Partap Singh, in video clip, who was then Punjab IG and I am pained to learn that no concrete action was taken on that complaint,” he wrote.