Dayal the new unshakable supercop of Maharashtra
By Ganesh N - MUMBAI
Published: 05th Aug 2012 09:37:28 AM
He showed his mettle when he put visiting President Obama’s security detail in their place. Being responsible for protecting the US President and his family, the US secret service agents take their jobs very seriously and often their actions border on arrogance. However, the headstrong US secret service agents met their match in Sanjeev Dayal who has now been appointed as the Director General of Maharashtra police. Dayal replaces another outstanding IPS officer K Subramanyam Maharashtra was privileged to get.
In November 2010, Obama and his wife Michelle had to wait over 11 minutes at the Holy Name School at Colaba, Mumbai, in their armoured Cadillac as the then Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal refused to give route clearance. Dayal held up Obama due to breach of security protocol by US that had placed their snipers on the terrace of St Xavier’s college. It had been earlier decided that US agents provide close cover whereas Indian NSG commandos would give the sniper support. Dayal who had prior experience of US security agencies when he was with the Special Protection Group (SPG) during Bill Clinton’s visit to India in 2000 refused to budge and thereby further delaying Obama. The snipers had to finally give in as their actions was delaying the President. “For Dayal sir once a plan of action is decided he would not change it come what may,” said an IPS officer.
This incident that personifies Dayal’s character as a cop did not come as a surprise for those knew the IPS officer of the 1977 batch. A similar incident happened in 1999 when he was deputed with SPG in charge of the external security of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dayal had stalled the PM’s cavalcade in Lahore for hours as the local police had carried out a route clearance. Dayal stood his stand despite the immense diplomatic pressure and was vindicated when the police team dispatched for route clearance was ambushed. Dayal’s career is littered with several such incidents which makes him something of a legend. When he was in-charge of administration in the DG’s office, a home minister was foolish enough to send to him a list of recommendations for recruiting constables. He had torn the recommendations to shreds. Of course, Dayal was relegated to ‘side postings’ for many years. “The political powers had a tough time dealing with Dayal. How can you deal with a person who is not at all affected by the postings that you put him in? He would work with the same zest wherever he was assigned. Gradually political masters realised that though he did not do as they bid they needed him as he was good at delivering,” said retired IPS officer.
Holding Dayal high in reverence, an IPS officer liberally used words such as—‘honesty, integrity, disciplinary, eye for details, leading by example etc’ while describing him.
Though office hours do not apply to police force, Dayal is one of the few top IPS officers who regularly burn the midnight oil on their own or for other officers who need their help. “We had traced the accused person to another state. Dayal sir had a batchmate who was also in senior position. It was 1 am when I called him and he assured me of help. Fifteen minutes later I received a call from him that he had spoken to his counterpart and all help would be given to our police,” said an IPS officer, adding that there are very few officers who would go out of their way to help the force and Dayal was one of them.