The policemen were assigned the Delhi posting by Bihar government after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent requests to non-BJP chief ministers to help fill vacancies in ACB
Four Bihar Police officers deputed to Delhi's Anti-Corruption Branch at the request of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, are now caught in a political crossfire between the Aam Aadmi Party government in the capital and the Union Home Ministry.
At least one of them, Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanjay Bharti, has declined the Delhi assignment, though Bihar Police chief PK Thakur said he has not received word from the officer yet.
Mr Bharti said he has refused the posting for "family reasons." But sources said the officer is loath to join given the controversy around the ACB and appointments in it.
The Centre-Kejriwal face-off is seen as a political turf war between the AAP and the BJP which rules at the Centre and if the BJP wins elections in Bihar later this year, the officers would not like to be on the wrong side of the new dispensation because of their three-year Delhi stint, the sources said.
The policeman were deputed for the Delhi posting by the Janata Dal (United) government of Nitish Kumar in Bihar after Mr Kejriwal sent requests to non-BJP chief ministers to help fill vacancies in the acutely understaffed ACB in Delhi. They have already been relieved by the Bihar government.
But the Home Ministry says that their deputation to the ACB is illegal as Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung wasn't consulted, and has warned that their salaries could be stopped.
In Delhi, the Lieutenant Governor, who represents the Centre and reports to the Union Home Ministry, controls key functions like public order, police and land. Officials point out that the ACB is deemed to be a police station and can therefore act against corruption.
With the Delhi Police saying a staff crunch prevents it from meeting a request for officers for the ACB, Aam Aadmi Party sources have said that the Delhi government expects to also get about 15 officers from Uttar Pradesh, 15 from West Bengal and four from Uttarakhand.
UP has reportedly turned down Mr Kejriwal's request for officers, pleading a shortage. 30 per cent posts are vacant in the Bihar Police, which can ill-afford to post four in Delhi, officials say.