Meghalaya government’s decision to appoint a ‘security advisor’ after DGP threatens to quit

The National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government has decided to keep on indefinite hold a proposal to appoint a retired IPS officer as ‘security advisor’ to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma following stiff opposition from Director General of Police (DGP) Swaraj Bir Singh.

Sources in the state government told HT that there was a proposal to appoint Kulbir Krishan in a new avatar that would link him closely to the CM. However, the DGP having got wind of such a move, made it abundantly clear that he would not consent to such a move and would rather resign.

Officials familiar with the development said that the DGP’s opposition to the appointment of a security advisor was strongly supported by other Meghalaya police officials which eventually forced the Chief Minister to shelve the idea.

“It was just a proposal actually but no paper work was initiated. However, when it seemed clear that it was not a good idea, the same was shelved and that’s it,” a senior official in the state home department on condition of anonymity told HT.

Singh, a 1986 batch IPS officer who is also an accomplished poet and a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award is much respected by the rank and file of Meghalaya police and has no blemish since taking over as the DGP in December 2016. In fact, the present government extended his tenure after he attained superannuation in April this year.

Krishan on the other hand is not new to controversy with instances of discomfort in several establishments including the intelligence bureau when he was shunted out owing to reasons pertaining to his personal life. In 2013, the Election Commission of India ordered him transferred as Meghalaya DGP prior to Assembly elections.

Political observers say that in the present scenario in Meghalaya, a ‘security advisor’ is not needed and in fact would undermine the authority of the police chief who is already doing a good job by effectively containing insurgency in the state.

The previous Congress-led government had appointed former top cop Rajiv Mehta as security advisor when Meghalaya was facing acute insurgency in the Garo Hills.

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