In a decision that could snowball into a controversy, the government appointed 1978-batch IPS officer Shankar M Bidari, who belongs to the politically influential Ligayat community, as the state police chief ignoring A R Infant, who is the senior most IPS officer in the state.

Yesterday, the Union Public Service Commission, Delhi, shortlisted three officers Infant, Bidari and Sushanth Mahapatra from a list of five Director General-rank officers. The panel sent names of shortlisted officers to the state government for the appointment of new DG-IGP. 

BJP MLAs from the Lingayat community protested against selection
of A RInfant and demanded Gowda to appoint Bidari as the DG-IGP

On the basis of seniority, CM DV Sadananda Gowda wanted to propose Infant's name. But, a group of BJP MLAs (from the Lingayat community) protested against selection of Infant and demanded Gowda to appoint Bidari as the DG-IGP.

Succumbing to their pressure Gowda, appointed Bidari as the state police chief, highly-placed sources in the home department told MiD DAY.

Infant said, "I will seek legal recourse. I will approach the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to seek justice. The selection procedures have been violated during the appointment of DG-IGP." As Infant looks ready for a legal battle, the stage is set for a high-voltage drama over the 'biased' selection process.

Shankar Bidari shot to the limelight when he downsized forest brigand Veerappan's gang from 100 to eight during his tenure as the STF Chief. He bagged several medals, including two gallantry medals.

He has also served as the Commissioner of Bangalore city and the ADGP of law and order. But he has been in many controversies, as NHRC had also conducted an inquiry on fake encounter deaths in MM Hills by his team when the STF was hunting for Veerappan and gang.

Policemen dishonour tricolour
In a hurry to welcome their new boss Shankar M Bidari, police officials brought dishonour to the Tricolour yesterday.

Nearly two hours after the ritual of bringing down the national flag at 6.30 pm everyday, the staff in-charge realised that the flag was flying forlorn at the police headquarters, thanks to the government which delayed announcing the name of DG-IGP.

Immediately after the announcement, an overjoyed Bidari rushed to the headquarters to take charge and received the guard of honour around 6.51 pm.

"As per the rules, the flag should have been brought down at  6.30 pm with a ceremonial procedure, but since there was confusion about the appointment of DG and IGP, this slipped our minds," said an officer.

The flag was not brought down even after the outgoing DG & IGP, N Achuta Rao, who came from Delhi to handover the charge at around 7.20 pm, was also given the Guard of hounour under the Tricolour.

The mistake was rectified when the staff returned and saw the flag.  Additional Director General of Police (administration) J V Gaonkar, said, "The procedure is to hoist the flag at dawn and bring it down at dusk.

But the procedure can be stretched on special occasions like this," adding that it had happened due to some confusion.