Sumedh Singh Saini

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Sumedh Singh Saini is an Indian police officer, and the former Director general of police (DGP) of Punjab Police. He has been heavily involved in policing both terrorist- and corruption-based matters and has a mixed reputation, being seen by some people as a firm upholder of the law and by others as a violator of human rights.


Sumedh Saini joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1982 and progressed to serve six districts as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) [1] before succeeding Anil Kaushik as the Director-General of Police (DGP) for the Indian State of Punjab on 15 March 2012. He is heading the State Police out of the seven Directors General in the State. The appointment made him the youngest DGP in India.[2]

Appointed very soon after a new government had been formed, involving the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Saini was tasked with reducing crime and inhibiting the activities of people involved in the drug trade. Although supported by the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, the BJP claimed that the decision to appoint was a unilateral one and that they were not consulted.[3] The Times of India noted at the time of his promotion that Saini "... has been in and out of controversies — within the service he has his detractors as well as ardent followers in equal number besides a dedicated fan following among policemen who fought during terrorism."[3]

Saini has been a prominent figure in the efforts to maintain law and order in Punjab, in particular during a period in the 1980s and 1990s when terrorist activity was prevalent.[4] In 1987, Saini won the highest award of Punjab for gallantry, in recognition of his leadership in operations against Khalistani insurgents, and in 1991 he had been injured in an assassination attempt made in Chandigarh by the same insurgents.[2][3]

In 2005 he was described as a Dirty Harry figure who inspires fear in those whom he seeks to bring to justice. His methods have attracted complaints and caused him to be reported for alleged breaches of human rights, and he has also faced trial as a consequence of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) linking him as the prime suspect in the alleged disappearance and murder of three men. The CBI investigation was deemed to be unlawful by the Supreme Court in December 2011[5][6] but court proceedings were still ongoing in 2014.[7][8]

His activities in corruption investigations have won praise, in particular a 2002 case that involved the Punjab Public Service Commission and various High Court judges.[4][9]

Saini was transferred from his post as DGP in October 2015, allegedly after pressure was put on the state government by the Government of India. He became chairman of the Police Housing Corporation, and his successor as DGP was announced as being Suresh Arora. Concern had been expressed about the police reaction to anti-desecration protests at the village of Behbal Kalan, in Faridkot district, which had led to the deaths of two protestors and left several others injured.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Punjab gets new DGP, chief secretary". The Times of India. TNN. 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  2. ^ a b Bajwa, Harpreet (16 March 2012). "At 54, Saini youngest DGP". Indian Express. Archived from the original on 2023-08-24. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  3. ^ a b c "New DGP shakes up Punjab police with transfers". The Times of India. TNN. 16 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  4. ^ a b Vinayak, Ramesh (5 June 2009). "Saini, judiciary's bugbear". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  5. ^ Singh, Vikram Jit (10 September 2005). "Dirty Harrys Thrive in Amarinder Regime". Tehelka. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  6. ^ "Refrain from ordering roving CBI inquiries, High Courts told". The Hindu. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  7. ^ "Papers in abduction case against DGP tampered with: CBI". The Tribune. 4 May 2014. Archived from the original on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Businessman barges into courtroom, alleges danger from Punjab Vigilance chief =The Tribune". 8 August 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Top cop Saini whom detractors and critics found difficult to dislodge". Daily Post India. 7 December 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-13. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  10. ^ "Sumedh Saini removed as Punjab Police chief". The Tribune. 25 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2018-04-08. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  11. ^ "Sacrilege probe: Saini fails to appear before commission". The Tribune. 7 November 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-04-08. Retrieved 2018-04-07.