Chandigarh : Indian diplomat Pavan Kumar Rai, a 1997-batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre, who was expelled by the Canadian government amid escalating rift between the two nations over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader earlier this year, carries an impeccable track record during his service in Punjab Police.
Promoted to the rank of additional director general of police (ADGP) in January this year by the Punjab government, Rai had gone to the Central deputation in July 2010.
“During his field assignments in Punjab, Rai was effective and displayed a high calibre of professionalism,” said a Punjab Police official, who has been Rai’s senior in the state.
During his first posting as the SSP of Tarn Taran — the district worst hit by drugs and smuggling — in 2008, Rai shot to limelight while probing a drug case, wherein the accused took the name of a local Akali politician and Rai planned to arrest him. However, when the matter reached then SAD-BJP government, Rai was transferred to Jalandhar.
In his next posting as the Jalandhar SSP in October 2008, Rai earned praise of the media and general public when he arrested Mohit Sharma, son of then all-powerful SSP of vigilance bureau, Shiv Kumar Sharma, who had masterminded robbery of diamonds worth ₹1.75 crore. The Jalandhar police had nabbed SSP’s son and his Punjab Police security guard for his alleged involvement in the loot of the diamonds from a Mumbai-based merchant.
In 2004, as the SP (CID) in Amritsar, Rai had probed a high- profile case of suicide of five members of a family in which then district police chief (SSP) Kultar Singh, was sentenced to eight-year jail.
The incident took place on October 30, 2004, night Chowk Karori in Amritsar wherein a man, his wife, mother and two children committed suicide by consuming poison. Before taking the extreme step, the family wrote the reason for taking the extreme step on the walls of the rooms of their house and had even posted suicide notes to their friends. The police had registered a case of abetment to suicide against four relatives of the victim and arrested them. There were references, also to Kultar Singh, who was then the Amritsar SSP.
Rai was under immense pressure from his seniors not to probe the role of then SSP in the case. However, record of the case reveals that Rai showed exemplary integrity and reported to the DIG in black and white that the role of his SSP and another senior officer was cropping up in the case and a senior officer to SSP should conduct probe in the case. Ultimately, an SIT was formed. Kultar, who retired as the DIG, was convicted under Sections 306, 388, 506, 465 and 120-B of the IPC in 2021. A DSP was also convicted in the case for five years of jail.
An engineering graduate, Rai originally belongs to Uttar Pradesh. The Punjab Police gradation list showed his posting as joint secretary, cabinet secretariat, Government of India. Rai had also served in Dubai earlier.
Rai is regarded as exemplary police officer among his batchmates and seniors in Punjab Police.