Kamal Pant replaces Bhaskar Rao as Bengaluru top cop | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Kamal Pant (Photo credit: Bangalore Mirror)
BENGALURU: Contrary to the practice of maintaining command continuity in crises, the state government on Friday replaced Bengaluru City police commissioner Bhaskar Rao with IPS officer Kamal Pant.
Pant, a 1990-batch IPS officer, was intelligence chief and reported to chief minister BS Yediyurappa. He’ll take over on Saturday when Bhaskar Rao completes one year in office. Rao has been posted as additional director general of police (internal security division); 1994-batch IPS officer B Dayananda will be ADGP (intelligence).
It’s the second major change in the city administration within two weeks – BBMP commissioner Anil Kumar was replaced by N Manjunatha Prasad on July 18.
The replacement, triggered more by political compulsions than performance, comes when the police force has been in the forefront of implementing social-distancing measures to combat Covid-19 in Bengaluru.
Though speculation was rife about Pant’s appointment a year ago because of his noncontroversial nature and proximity to Yediyurappa, it did not come through as Rao had to complete a year in office before he could be transferred. Given the pandemic, it was assumed Rao would continue.
‘He will keep police force’s morale high’
A source close to the CM said: “The health department has been at the forefront in the battle against Covid and leadership there is unchanged. Covid and police transfers are unconnected. Pant is not a newcomer to the city and we’re confident he’ll motivate personnel and keep force morale high.”
Pant had earlier served as additional commissioner of police (law & order) in Bengaluru.
In the BBMP, prior to Anil Kumar’s replacement, the government had transferred IAS officer P Manivannan from the labour department at the height of the migrant workers’ crisis when thousands struggled for food, shelter and logistical help to go home.
The transfer of BBMP special commissioners M Lokesh and Ravikumar Surpur, who were behind the much-appreciated Bengaluru model of Covid-19 management, also came as a surprise.