S.S. Virk assumes post as Director-General of Police

February 9, 2005 | Comments Off on S.S. Virk assumes post as Director-General of Police

On February 1, S.S. Virk took over as Punjab’s Director-General of Police (DGP). Because of his connection to human rights violations, his appointment has been controversial; in fact, his appointment went against normal procedures. He served as Deputy Inspector General of the Central Reserve Police Force during the counter-insurgency movement and has been implicated in cases of torture and extrajudicial execution.

He was among the few officers sent to Punjab in wake of “disturbed conditions prevailing in the state”. After reporting here in July 1984, he worked as Senior Superintendent of Police at Jalandhar and Amritsar districts.

He was, subsequently, promoted and posted as Deputy Inspector-General of CRPF with headquarters at Amritsar and was handed over the responsibility of supervising anti-terrorist operations in the district. He was working on the post of ADGP (Intelligence) before he took over as the DGP.

On December 21, 2004, the Central Government issued a charge sheet against him because of his “willful disobedience” of April 12 orders terminating his deputation in Punjab, and asked him to explain his conduct. Since April, he had been staying in Punjab without authorization. Further, while Virk was Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP), he was blamed for misconduct and misbehavior, and violated the provisions of the All-India Service Rules of 1969.

The Punjab government, however, requested that Virk’s deputation continue. 

He reported for duty in Punjab on April 2, 1996. His deputation was extended till April 1, 1998, on the Punjab Government’s request. Subsequently, the Punjab Government continued to request the Union Government for extending the deputation till the Home Ministry refused to agree.

In fact, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had personally taken up the matter with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil during his visits to New Delhi.

ADGP Virk’s name was cleared for the DGP’s post after the matter pertaining to his extension and charge-sheet was “amicably resolved” between the Centre and the state government.

On January 19, the Shiromani Alkali Dal (Amritsar) filed a petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Punjab government’s appointment of S.S. Virk as DGP.

Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Alkali Dal (Amritsar) said that his party opposes Virk’s appointment because he is responsible for past unlawful acts and that a case against him is pending before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

Mann sought the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in preventing Virk’s appointment as DGP because of his connection to human rights violations. In a memorandum to the chairman of the NHRC, Mann said that assigning Virk DGP would be a blow to all those who stand for human rights and their non-violation.

Mr Mann has observed: “The same trauma is fresh in the minds of Sikh mothers in Punjab and elsewhere in India where disappearances of Sikhs have taken place. As such, at this juncture it would be a blunder on the part of the Union and Punjab Government to post Mr Virk as the DGP who carries a heavy baggage from the past, as far as his human rights record is concerned. Besides, the Union Home Ministry in its chargesheet has questioned his integrity”.

On February 1, the day Virk assumed his post as DGP, Mann withdrew his petition and said that he intended to file an amended petition to the High Court by February 7 to challenge Virk’s appointment.

He said that the officers, whom Mr Virk superceded to get the plum post, would be named as respondents in t”We will take our fight to the highest court of the land to ensure that the wrong committed by making Mr Virk the DGP of this sensitive state is corrected,” he said.

He also questioned the decision of the Union Home Ministry to withdraw the chargesheet served on Mr Virk to facilitate his promotion as DGP.


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