Ahmedabad, Feb 22: Gujarat government on Saturday, Feb 22 appointed Shabbir Hussain Shekhadam Khandwawala in place of tainted Director General of Police P C Pande. Khandwawala is the first Muslim IPS officer to get to the top police post in Gujarat. Pande was removed by the government after he came under cloud during post-Godhra riots.
He was removed as DGP by the Election Commission ahead of 2007 assembly polls in Gujarat and was brought back in the same post after the elections. Government also replaced City Police Commissioner O P Mathur with S K Saikia, a man with clean image.
Khandwawala is the senior most police officer of Gujarat IPS cadre. P C Pande's removal from the top post by the government is for sure a move ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. It anticipates that the Election Commission once again transfer Pande as Lok Sabha polls dates are likely to be released next month and the model code of conduct will go into force.
When P C Pande was the Police Commissioner of Gujarat during 2002, riots broke out and many people of minorty community were killed. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have already registered their protest over the appointment of Khandwawala as the Police Chief.