Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Senior IPS officer Bijay Kumar Sharma has been appointed as the Head of Police Force in Odisha. Sharma, who is currently the chief of Fire Services, Home Guards and Civil Defence, will assume the full additional charge as the Director General of Police from tomorrow.

His new appointment comes shortly after Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal approved the appointment of the incumbent DGP RP Sharma as a non-judicial member of the State Lokayukta on Tuesday.

"Bijay Kumar Sharma, IPS will remain in full additional charge of DGP, Odisha and Head of Police Force," a communication received from the Chief Minister's Office said.

It may be noted that as per the new guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, the State government will have to send a list of senior state-cadre IPS officers to the Union Public Service Commission for selection. The selection panel will shortlist three names from the list and send it back for consideration. The government will pick one of the shortlisted officers as the DGP.

Sources said Odisha government might appoint an officer of the 1986 or 1987 batch. Several top police officials, including BK Sharma are being considered as frontrunners for the post.

BK Sharma, a 1986-batch IPS officer had earlier assumed the DGP in-charge role during the recent general elections in the State when the incumbent DGP RP Sharma had to take leave following the demise of his wife.

Prior to his current postings as Director General of Fire Services and Commandant General (home guards) and Director of Civil Defence, Sharma was appointed Director General (Prisons) and was also posted as Special DGP Crime Branch (CID).