K  Rajendra  Kumar

K-rajendraWith parliamentary polls days away, MLA Langate Er Rashid had claimed: the ruling National Conference (NC) has appointed K Rajendra Kumar as Special DG for coordination at the police headquarters to favour itself in elections. And then, NC met its waterloo! And now, Rajendra is the new top cop of the state.

Prior to his fresh appointment, Rajendra served state in different capacities. A 1984 IPS, Rajendra—who hails from south India’s Andhra Pradesh has reportedly FIR registered in his name for his alleged role in 1993 police agitation in valley. He has now succeeded Ashok Prasad, who has been appointed as the special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

Kumar has held several key positions in state—like SSP Srinagar, IGP Jammu, IGP Kashmir, IGP CID and was presently serving as the special DG police coordination. Besides, he has also served as interim DGP of state for a short duration in 2012 after the retirement of Kuldeep Khoda, who now heads the State Vigilance Commission (SVC).

But early this year, when the top police ladder underwent through a reshuffle, Rajendra was elevated to a Special DG for coordination at the police headquarters. Before that, he was looking after the prisons division. But well before Rajendra assumed his new office, his appointment created a raucous of sorts. Er Rashid accused the ruling NC of appointing Kumar for political gains ahead of parliamentary and assembly elections.

NC leaders reacted by saying it was Rajendra’s seniority, suitability and merit that earned him the post—and said, that NC is the people’s voice which doesn’t require the assistance from police or any other agency. And then, May 16 dawned—and NC saw itself being routed from all the three parliamentary seats in valley.

Many believe decks had been cleared for appointing Rajendra as the new DG Police early this year only. In fact, insiders say—his posting as Special DG was done by the cabinet by circulation, as chief minister Omar Abdullah was out of station. His batch mate P L Gupta, who was holding the post in PHQ, was shifted as DG (Prisons) then, sending a clear signal that government had made up the mind to give the leadership of police to Rajendra.

But a recipient of array of awards, Rajendra survived a life threatening attempt in Srinagar in May 2006. Militants then attacked the rally being addressed by then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and left him seriously injured.

– Bilal Handoo

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