Hyderabad: Among all the five Hyderabad city police zones, south zone (the entire Old City) has always been considered the most sensitive one. This is getting further evidenced if one goes by the innumerable communal clashes, stone-pelting incidents and even a bomb blast.
Yet, for the last five months, the state government has not posted any IPS officer as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to head south zone, even as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are raging in and around Hyderabad -- with old city as its epicenter. This is the first time in the city history that the south zone has remained without a DCP for full five months and indications are that it is likely to continue this way for the next few months as the Telangana state government appears to be in no mood to appoint anyone at the moment.
For the last five months, a DIG rank officer Avinash Mohanty, who heads the Central Crime Station (CCS), a key wing of the Hyderabad city police that deals with white-collar offences and other major crimes, has been given additional charge of south zone. Government sources told Deccan Chronicle that while bureaucracy in Telangana has come to a standstill as far as posting and transfer of both IAS and IPS officials are concerned, what with dozens of them languishing in the old posts despite being promoted several months ago, not many are bothered to bring to the notice of the government that there is an urgent need to post someone to south zone, which, incidentally, is the stronghold of Majlis-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM). In fact, there was never a time when the post of DCP south zone remained vacant.
The last DCP of south zone was Mr Ambar Kishor Jha, a 2009 batch IPS officer who took charge in September 2018. Last July, Jha went on Central deputation and is presently working in New Delhi.
As a temporary measure, the top brass gave additional charge of south zone to Avinash Mohanty.
Though it was widely expected that post would be filled soon, considering the sensitive nature of the zone, no one has been posted.
The ''temporary arrangement'' continues till date, which sources said, is affecting both -- the work of south zone as well as of CCS. Despite the anti-CAA protests getting intensified, the government, sources said, has not even applied its mind on who to post in the sensitive zone.
''There was never a time when the post of DCP south zone was kept vacant. Unless there is a regular DCP, there are several problems with coordination and delivery of service on the ground. When there are major events or protests like the anti-CAA, a full-time DCP is needed for better coordination with all agencies. If you have an officer who is given additional charge, he will not be able to do justice to either rof positions. Temporary arrangement is no good for south zone,'' senior officials said.
The DCP south zone, which has to regularly coordinate with the Special Branch, Task Force and even the Rapid Action Force (RAF) besides coordinating with the adjoining east and west zones -- always has his hands full.
While the office of DCP south zone is located in Purani Haveli, the office of CCS is in Basheerbagh, from where Avinash Mohanty operates.
Meanwhile, complicating matters further, the police top brass on Saturday made all the ACPs and Inspector rank officials working in CCS as in-charges for law and order duties in south zone, which sources said will affect investigation of several white-collar offences and other crimes in CCS.
''Though the anti-CAA protests are going on unabated, the government does not seem bothered. Therefore, the Hyderabad police has to make their own arrangements to deal with the situation,'' a senior government official said.