Shaik Darvesh next state police chief, third non-Keralite in a row

Shaik started his career as an additional SP at Nedumangad.
Newly appointed Kerala police Chief Sheikh Darvesh Saheb and Chief Secretary V Venu.
Newly appointed Kerala police Chief Sheikh Darvesh Saheb and Chief Secretary V Venu.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the third time in a row, the state will have a non-Kerala officer as its police chief. The cabinet on Tuesday appointed Shaik Darvesh Saheb and V Venu as the next State Police Chief and Chief Secretary, respectively. Both officers, of the 1990 batch of IPS and IAS, will take over after State Police Chief Anil Kant and Chief Secretary V P Joy retire on June 30.

Fire and Rescue Services Director General Shaik, a native of Andhra  Pradesh, was selected as the state police chief from a shortlist of three names forwarded by the UPSC to the state government. Others in the fray were Prisons Director General K Padmakumar and Intelligence Bureau Special Director Harinath Mishra.

Highly placed sources said, during the cabinet meet, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan proposed the name of Shaik as the next state police chief. “Proposing his name, the CM pointed out that Shaik has got the cleanest track record. It was unanimously approved,” said a top source. 

Reacting to his selection, Shaik appeared elated and said he will try his best to serve the public efficiently. He hinted that the process to weed out criminals from the force that started during Anil Kant’s tenure will continue. 

The major contenders for the state police chief’s post were Padmakumar, the senior-most officer in the shortlist, and Shaik. Padmakumar, a 1989 IPS batch officer, is a native of Kerala, which was expected to give him an edge in the race. However, the CM continued with his wont of overlooking the domicile while picking up the police chief. After coming to power in 2016, both the state police chiefs appointed by him — Loknath Behera and Anil Kant — were non-Keralites. Born in Kadapa district in AP’s Rayalaseema area, Shaik holds a doctorate in agronomy and a master’s in business administration.

‘Shaik a man of moral, material integrity’

Known to be an unpretentious officer who eschews limelight, Shaik brings to the table a vast amount of experience he had accrued over three decades working in all the police wings. Deemed as a non-controversial officer, Shaik is said to be a stickler when it comes to upholding of human rights and law. 
A former colleague of Shaik said he is a man of moral and material integrity and termed him as “straight as an arrow”. His appointment to the top post comes at a time when the police is increasingly facing an accusation of political bias.

Shaik started his career as an additional SP at Nedumangad. Later, he worked as the district police chief in Wayanad, Kasaragod, Kannur and Palakkad districts. He also worked as superintendent in the state railway police and the state special branch. He also served in the armed battalion, functioned as aide-de-camp to the governor and was part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Kosova.

He has also served as assistant director and deputy director at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad. After being promoted to the three-star rank, he had worked as ADGP in the police headquarters, crime branch, vigilance and the law and order. 

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