Patna, Dec. 6: The Bihar government today showed the door to controversial director-general of police D.P. Ojha, one of the few who dared to clean up India’s most lawless state.
His removal ignited the unusual spectacle of the common man standing up for a police officer when a group of people threw stones at excise minister Shivanand Tiwari, who yesterday orchestrated the oust-DGP campaign by Rabri Devi’s cabinet members.
Tiwari, who had gone for an interactive session at a book fair, was held up for more than an hour and had to be rescued by the police.
Resentment had been brewing against Ojha, who was trying to cleanse state politics of its criminal elements and break the police-politician nexus. In the process, the 1967-batch IPS officer earned the wrath of both politicians and his subordinates.
The top cop, who was due to retire in February, responded to the government order by saying he would resign from the force. “I will not serve this government even for a moment now. As a free person, I can go to the people and tell them the truth,” he said.
“In the post itself, I was waging a battle. Out of the post, I will continue to do the same.”
The outspoken Ojha recently caused a stir by saying that power in the state had passed into the hands of lafanga (hoodlum) politicians. He added that controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Mohammad Shahabuddin — the DGP was the prime mover behind the MP’s arrest — headed the gangs that kidnapped businessmen’s children for ransom.
He also said that people think 80 per cent of Bihar policemen, including IPS officers, were corrupt. At another time, he said police were like domestic servants of politicians.
Sources close to the chief minister said Rabri Devi and RJD boss Laloo Prasad Yadav decided to act following pressure from cabinet colleagues, who demanded his sack.
Laloo Prasad said Ojha had violated service rules by openly attacking politicians. “We have tolerated him for very long,” Laloo Prasad said. “It is not the job of a DGP to make public speeches,” he added.
W.H. Khan has been appointed the new DGP.
Ojha had also announced steps to disband the Bihar Police Association and asked the government to keep off transfers of the association’s office-bearers, as ordered by the high court. The high court has directed the state to transfer all police personnel who have been more than three years in one place.
The officer, who earlier taught nuclear Physics in Patna Science College, said he would go to Patna High Court and, if needed, even to the Supreme Court.