The Punjab government has appointed Siddharth Chattopadhyaya as the officiating director general of police, replacing an officer that state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu wanted removed from the top post. Chattopadhyaya replaces another senior IPS officer Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota.
The order to appoint Chattopadhyaya as the officiating DGP was issued late Thursday night. A 1986-batch IPS officer, Chattopadhyaya would hold this charge until a regular DGP is appointed out of a panel of three IPS officers shortlisted by the Union Public Service Commission.
The UPSC is set to hold a meeting for shortlisting the panel of three officers from the state government’s list of 10 on December 21 in Delhi. Chattopadhyaya would also continue to hold the charge of chief director of the vigilance bureau.
Sahota, 1988-batch IPS officer, was appointed as the officiating DGP after Charanjit Singh Channi became the chief minister of Punjab in September. Sahota was considered as Channi’s choice. However, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has been pressing for replacing Sahota, who had remained the head of the special investigation team formed by the previous SAD-BJP government to probe desecration incidents.
Sidhu was learnt to have been backing the name of Chattopadhyaya as the DGP after Channi replaced Amarinder Singh as the Punjab chief minister. Last month, the Channi government replaced the state’s advocate general A P S Deol after strong opposition from Sidhu.
Later, senior advocate D S Patwalia was appointed as the AG.