A Madhya Pradesh IPS officer will be stripped of his bravery award after the human rights panel found that the gunfight he won it for was staged.

A notification to this effect has also been issued in the official gazette on September 30.

Dharmendra Choudhry, Deputy Inspector General, Ratlam Range, said on Thursday that he got the news through the media and he was not allowed to present his side. He said he will put forward his version to the department.

According to sources, when he was Jhabua Additional Superintendent of Police in 2002, Choudhry had killed a most wanted criminal, Lohar, in a gunfight. He got the bravery award for it in 2004.

The National Human Rights Commission in its probe report said that the gunfight was staged but the state government has rejected its finding.

A notification issued from the President’s Secretariat ordered that the award be cancelled and confiscated.

Choudhry, however, maintains that the gunfight was not staged. “Lohar was a notorious criminal. He was involved in crimes in many states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. He had nearly 14 cases registered against him, involving loot,” he said.