New Delhi, Feb 29: For the new police commissioner of Delhi, the next 17 months are crucial. Alok Kumar Verma the 1979 batch IPS officer took charge from the controversial B S Bassi who retired today.
Taking over in the backdrop of the JNU row and also a tussle between the Delhi and Central government over the policing powers, Verma will also handle a host of high profile cases that are pending.
Policing is a passion for Verma who is considered by colleagues as an upright, honest and no-nonsense officer. Verma also has a penchant for technology and the same was pointed by Bassi who said he would take the technology factor in the Delhi police to a whole new level.
Road ahead for Verma:
For Verma, the road ahead is no easy one. With a 80,000 member force to manage, he will first need to strike a balance between the Delhi and the Central government. There has been a tug of war with the Delhi government insisting that they be given powers over the Delhi police, a request the centre has not considered.
Verma has 17 months in office and is due to retire on August 2017. Verma who was the Director General of the Tihar jail following the sudden shifting of Vimla Mehra now takes over from Bassi who has always known to be controversial. The first major challenge before him is the JNU case.
It was under Bassi that sedition charges were filed and the former Police Commissioner had appeared confident of sustaining those charges in court. The case is currently being investigated by the Special Cell of the Delhi police.
In addition to the JNU case, Verma will also have to oversee the probe into the Sunanda Pushkar murder case. Further, the sexual abuse case filed against R K Pachauri of TERI is also being probed by the Delhi police. However, all eyes will be on him regarding his handling of the JNU incident.
Bassi was criticised for sending police into the JNU campus. Further a section also felt that while the matter relating to anti national slogans deserves investigation, the filing of sedition charges had been questioned. Verma's colleagues say that they are confident that he would handle all of this with ease.
Prior to Verma taking over there were some within the force who had tried block his appointment as the Delhi police commissioner. Rumours of him mismanaging activities in Tihar were floated around by the contenders to the coveted post.
They even spoke about the BBC documentary that was shot inside the Tihar jail. However, Verma made it clear that permission was given by his predecessor, Vimla Mehra.