Dinkar Gupta is a 1987-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Punjab cadre, who is known for his intelligence-based anti-terrorism operations in Punjab. He is the former Director-General of Police (DGP) of the Government of Punjab. On 23 June 2022, he was appointed as the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), an anti-terror probe agency formed after the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.
Dinkar Gupta was born on Thursday, 12 March 1964 (age 58 years; as of 2022) in Chandigarh. His zodiac sign is Pisces. He holds a master’s degree in police administration.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about his parents and siblings.
Wife & Children
Dinkar Gupta got married to Vini Mahajan in September 1989. Vini Mahajan is a 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Punjab cadre. As of 2022, Vini is serving as the Secretary of the Ministry of Jal Shakti. Reportedly, she is the first women chief secretary of the Punjab state. The couple has two children, a son named Azeez Gupta and a daughter named Namya Mahajan. Azeez Gupta is the founder of Rocket Learning, a nonprofit organisation.
Dinkar’s father-in-law, BB Mahajan, was an IAS officer of the Punjab cadre.
Dinkar Gupta began his career as an IPS officer in 1987. He served as the Chief of Police (SSP) of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Hoshiarpur districts for seven years, i.e., from January 1992 to January 1999. He then served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of Jalandhar and Ludhiana range till 2004. Meanwhile, he also served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of Counter-Intelligence, Punjab. Serving as the DIG of Counter-Intelligence, Dinkar was involved in the direct supervision of the Punjab State Intelligence Wing, State Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), and Organized Crime Control Unit (OCCU).
He had an eight years stint in central deputation (from June 2004 to July 2012) with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) during which he held many sensitive assignments. He has also headed the Dignitary Protection Division of the MHA which looks after the security of VVIPs. In 2012, Dinkar was appointed as the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of Law and Order and Security. He held the post till 2015. He also served as the ADGP Traffic from 2013 to 2014 and ADGP Provisioning and Modernization from 2014 to 2015. Subsequently, he served as the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of Administration and Community Policing from 2015 to 2017.
In February 2019, Gupta was appointed as the Director-General of the Punjab Police; he superseded a number of Punjab IPS officers to become the DGP. Dinkar was hand-picked by Captain Amrinder Singh. Serving the Punjab state during the peak of militancy, Dinkar led technology-based operations and busted more than 50 terror modules in Punjab; apparently, he was the first person to highlight the threat posed by drones from across the border. Many prominent gangsters were eliminated during his tenure as the Punjab Police Chief.
He served the post for around two years and seven months and was removed from the post in 2021 after Charanjit Singh Channi replaced Captain (retd.) Amarinder Singh as the Chief Minister of Punjab. Post his removal as DGP, he was posted as the Chairman of the Punjab Police Housing Corporation, a not-so-active designation. Thereafter, Gupta sought permission for a central deputation. He remained on the offer list for central deputation for around a year and was then appointed as the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 23 June 2022.
He is the first officer from Punjab to head the NIA. Dinkar replaced CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh, who held an additional charge as DG, NIA, since the former NIA chief Y C Modi retired on 31 May 2021. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet order read that Dinkar will hold the post till 31 March 2024, the date of his superannuation, or until further orders, whichever is earlier. The appointment letter issued by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) read,
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the appointment of Shri Dinkar Gupta, IPS (PB: 87) as Director-General, National Investigative Agency in Level-17 of the post and up to 31.03.2024 i.e. date of his superannuation or till further orders whichever takes place earlier.”
Criticised for his remarks on the Kartarpur Corridor
Dinkar Gupta attracted controversy after making a derogatory remark about the Kartarpur Corridor in February 2022 at an event organised by a national daily. He said,
Kartarpur offers a potential that you send somebody in the morning as an ordinary chap and by evening he comes back as trained terrorist actually. You are there for six hours, you can be taken to a firing range, you can be taught to make an IED.”
He triggered a backlash for his remarks by the Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party, who demanded Dinkar’s sacking. Seeking clarification from Gupta during a media conversation, Senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said,
If a clarification is not issued, the party will stall proceedings of the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha on February 24.”
His comments also provoked the wrath of Akal Takht head priest Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh, who during a media conversation said,
If paying obeisance at our religious places converts us into terrorists, we are ready to become one.”
Later, Gupta while giving clarification for his remarks said that his statement was strictly pertaining to the safety and security of India and it had absolutely no reference to any religion or community. He said,
I only red-flagged the obvious potential for misuse by elements notorious for their hostility towards India and their (Pakistan’s) effort to exploit every opportunity, even the most pious one, to disturb the peace and communal harmony.”
He further said that he was personally present at the venue when the first pilgrim had crossed the border at Dera Baba Nanak, to visit Sri Kartarpur Sahib in November 2019. He said,
I rejoiced at the opening of the Sri Kartarpur Sahib Corridor which has fulfilled the decades-old aspirations of millions of devotees. I myself profess faith in Guru Nanak Dev Ji and his divine teachings. Their daily ardas (a Sikh prayer) for ‘khulle darshan-deedaar’ of religious shrines that remain in post-Partition Pakistan, was finally answered. It was a matter of even greater happiness that it coincided with the 550th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.”
The Coronavirus Controversy
In March 2020, it was speculated that Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta’s official residence was under quarantine and despite being under quarantine, he was moving around freely in the state. Dinkar received public criticism for his act. However, later the then Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral issued a clarification. His statement read,
At no point was DGP Dinkar Gupta home quarantined, so there is no question of his quarantine ending today. His daughter had returned from abroad on the morning of March 16. She had no symptoms whatsoever but as per protocol remained strictly in-home quarantine. The period of 14 days ended yesterday early morning and she remains asymptomatic. It is clarified that all Home Quarantine protocols were strictly followed during the quarantine period of Mr Gupta’s daughter.”
Awards & Honours
- In June 1992, the President of India decorated him with Gallantry Police Medal for the display of exceptional courage, conspicuous gallantry, and devotion to his duty as ASP during an encounter with the terrorists in April 1992. He is one of the youngest police officers to have received a gallantry medal.
- In June 1994, he was honoured with the Gallantry Police Medal by the President of India for the second time for his distinguished service as the SSP Hoshiarpur.
- He has also received the Police Medal for his Meritorious Service with the Punjab Police.
- On 15 August 2010, Gupta was awarded the Presidents Police Medal by the Prime Minister of India for his distinguished service.
As the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Dinkar Gupta receives a salary of Rs. 2, 25,000 per month (as of 2022).
- During Captain Amrinder Singh’s tenure as the Chief Minister of Punjab, Dinkar Gupta, along with his wife Vini Mahajan, had earned the moniker of being a ‘power couple.’ While Vini served as the chief secretary of the state, Dinkar was appointed as the Director-General of Police (DGP) of Punjab, the topmost administrative and police posts in the state.
- In 1996, Dinkar represented India at a Symposium on International Terrorism which was organised by The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
- In 1999, Dinkar was honoured with the British Chevening Gurukul Scholarship by the British Council at the London School of Economics, London.
- In 2000-2001, Dinkar was listed as the Executive-in-Residence at the School of International Service, American University, Washington DC, USA.
- In January 2001, the American University invited Gupta to design and teach a course titled Governments under Siege: Understanding Terrorism and Terrorists to graduate students.
- Dinkar has also been a visiting professor at George Washington University, Washington DC, USA.