Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 6:
At a time when the force headed by him is facing all round flak for the sharp deterioration in the law and order situation in Odisha, the decision of the Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik to go on a 15-day long leave has raised eyebrows in political and bureaucratic circles.
Marik’s decision has baffled many because he had gone on a five-day leave just three weeks ago on May 13. While he had said on that occasion that he was going on leave to appear in the Law examination, it is not clear what prompted him to take a fortnight-long leave so soon after his last leave.
Sources, however, confirmed that his leave has been approved by the Home department, which incidentally is headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
With no official word on the DGP’s latest leave, the field has been left wide open for speculation. Many are linking his absence to the reprimand he received the other day from the Chief Minister for the failure of the state police to make any headway in the burglary at the house of former judge of the Odisha High Court Justice PK Mohanty on May 30.
More flak came his way, this time from the High Court, on Thursday when it chided the police force for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, as evident in the daring robbery at Justice Mohanty’s house.
The DGP also faced criticism for a statement with political overtones he had made on April 30. Reacting to the Centre’s decision to stop funds under the police modernisation head, he had said it would hit the state police hard while ‘urging’ the Centre to restore the fund.
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan lost no time in having a go at BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for ‘fielding’ a police officer to take on the Centre on a matter that should have been dealt at the political level.
Marik became DGP in controversial circumstances after the Naveen Patnaik government shunted out his predecessor Prakash Mishra.