Director General of Police (DGP) Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma is going to be appointed as a Member (Non-Judicial) of the Lokayukta, the anti-corruption watchdog that started functioning in the State from April 8 this year.
Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal gave his assent to the proposal of the State Government in this regard on Tuesday. Earlier, a Lokayukta selection committee headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recommend the DGP’s name for the post.
With Dr Sharma’s shift to the Lokayukta, a new DGP will be appointed in the State shortly. Notably, meanwhile, Sharma had appealed to the State Government for his voluntary retirement.
It may be pointed out that Odisha is the first State to pass the Lokayukta Bill on February 14 this year.
Now, there are speculations as to who will be the new DGP. The State Government has to recommend a list of names of eligible IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
A selection committee constituted by the UPSC will choose three names and send them to the State Government for the new DGP’s appointment.
Notably, 1985-batch Odisha-cadre IPS officer Abhay is on Central deputation and his chance of selection as the DGP is likely to be remote.
Then, there are four 1986-batch officers, including Dr Sharma. Of them, Bijay Kumar Sharma, who is now Director General, Fire Services and Commandant General Home Guards. Pradeep Kapur and M Nageswar Rao are on Central deputation. So BK Sharma, who is to retire in October 2022, stands a good chance to be the next DGP. He had officiated as the DGP recently when RP Sharma was on leave recently.
1987-batch officers Sunil Kumar Bansal and Surendra Panwar are also on Central deputation and their batch-mate Sunil Roy heads the intelligence wing of the State police. Roy is one of the frontrunners in the race.
Among the five 1988-batch officers, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty, Additional Director General of State Armed Police Manoj Kumar Chhabra, Additional Director General of State Crime Branch, Santosh Kumar Upadhyay, Director, Investigation in Odisha Human Rights Commission Binayananda Jha are working in the State. Arun Kumar Ray and M Akhaya are on Central deputation.