Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel appoints new DGP, advisers

THE CHANGE in government has brought about a spate of bureaucratic changes in the Chhattisgarh government. On Thursday, the Bhupesh Baghel government appointed 1986 batch officer D M Awasthi as Director General of Police replacing A N Upadhyaya who has been transferred to the Police Housing Board. Awasthi also holds charge of Anti Naxal Operations, Economic Offences Wing and Anti-Corruption Bureau.

In changes to the CM’s secretariat, former BBC journalist Vinod Verma has been appointed as Baghel’s political adviser, Ruchir Garg, former Navbharat Editor has been appointed his media adviser, and Rajesh Tiwari, who many credit for the Congress organisation in Chhattisgarh, has been appointed Vidhan Sabha adviser.

Verma was in October 2017 arrested after a BJP member filed an FIR alleging that he received an extortion call which said there was a sex CD of his “aaka (senior)” which would be released if he did not pay up. Within hours of the FIR, Verma was arrested from his Ghaziabad home at 3 am. A day later, Rajesh Munat, the minister allegedly in the CD, filed another case of forging and disseminating a CD in which both Verma and Baghel were named.

Verma spent two months in jail, but the police and then the CBI, which took over the case, failed to establish if he had indeed made any calls, and if any extortion had taken place.

Both Baghel and Verma are on bail in the case. The next hearing is on January 4.