The post of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), North Zone, based in Kozhikode, has been lying vacant for more than three months since Rajesh Dewan’s retirement on April 30.
Anil Kant, ADGP, South Zone, is at present holding additional charge of North Zone, and he has been shuttling between Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Incidentally, the government is yet to find a suitable replacement in the politically and communally-sensitive region.
The delay in the appointment of a full-time officer is attributed to a Home Department plan to abolish the post of ADGP for the two zones and instead restore the post of Inspector General of Police in both the regions. The ranges under the zones will be headed by officers of the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG). It had been the norm for quite some time until the number of senior IPS officers began to grow.
For effective policing, the State was divided into two zones. And, each zone was divided into two ranges which are headed by Inspectors General of Police. While Kannur and Thrissur ranges come under the North Zone, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram ranges are under the South Zone.
Interestingly, Mr. Dewan, who had earlier been ADGP, North Zone, was named Director General of Police (DGP) in February 2017. After being appointed ADGP (North Zone), Mr. Dewan was reluctant to take charge, holding that the position was below his rank. Later, the Home Department revised the order appointing him as DGP, North Zone.
A senior officer said running a sensitive zone on ad hoc basis had brought bad name to the police, as more crimes had to be dealt with in Kannur and rural Kozhikode and Kasaragod, Wayanad, Palakkad, and Malappuram. It was observed that around 80% of crimes in the north occurred between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.
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