Kuldeep Sharma, 58, AHMEDABAD
BATTLING AGAINST: Corruption, criminality and communal lies in the State
FOR ALL THE punishment posting jokes and threats you’ve heard, after you are awarded the President’s special duty medal for service in Jammu & Kashmir, you don’t anticipate a posting to the state Sheep and Wool Development Corporation. But for the past 15 months, this is the place the Gujarat government has found appropriate for Additional Director General of Police, Kuldeep Sharma.
Here are Sharma’s failings. Between 2003 and 2005, as DIG CID (crime) Sharma investigated charges that the then deputy home minister Amit Shah had taken 2.5 crore bribe in the Madhopura Cooperative Bank scam. He refused to toe Narendra Modi’s diktat to arrest dancer Mallika Sarabhai who had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against Modi for his role in the 2002 riots. (During the riots, Sharma shifted 1,200 Muslims from Jinjar village to the safety of a school building). Since then, the Modi government has questioned Sharma’s awards, tried to implicate him in a 1984-Kutch encounter case, arrested his brother Pradeep on accusations in a land scam, transferred him to this post no IPS officer has held before, and withheld his vigilance clearance to debar him from promotion. His wife Preeti says, “Earlier a bad posting was the worst we prepared for. Now it’s as if the character of the state has changed.”
Last year, Sharma had applied to the Central Administrative Tribunal for redressal against the state’s persecution. He has two years of service left. His post-retirement benefits now depend on this application. But Sharma is keeping his dignity. In a move Hitchcock would appreciate, he continues to play tennis at 8 am every day at Ghoda camp.