Karnataka shunts out whistle-blower DIG (Prison) Roopa
As anticipated Karnataka Government on Monday has transferred two top prison officials DGP (Prisons) HN Sathyanarayana Rao and DIG (Prisons) D Roopa, who had brought him under a cloud of bribery allegations, were shifted with immediate effect.
The State Government in a notification said Additional Director General of Police, Anti-Corruption Bureau, NS Megharikh has been transferred with immediate effect and posted as Additional DGP, Prisons, in place of Rao. The Government has also transferred Parappanna Agrahara central high-security prison controversial chief superintendent Krishnakumar.
Prison DIG Roopa has made allegations against her superior officer HNS Rao for allegedly providing special treatment to AIADMK (Amma) leader VK Sasikala and other “erroneous” practices in Bengaluru central prison has been transffered and posted as Inspector General of Police and Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety. However, the notification does not specify the post for Rao and who will replace Roopa. Rao will be retiring by the end of this month.
In a report submitted on July 12 to Rao, who was DGP (Prisons) then, Roopa as Deputy Inspector of General (Prisons) had said there was “a talk” that Rs 2 crore had exchanged hands to give preferential treatment for Sasikala and there were allegations against him also. She had also said that a special kitchen was functioning in the jail for Sasikala in violation of prison rules. Rao had rubbished the charge against him by Roopa, terming it “absolutely false, baseless and wild”, and said he would take legal recourse against his junior.
As the open spat between the two officers became a major political embarrassment to ruling Congress Government led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had ordered a high-level probe by a retired IAS officer Vinayakumar into the alleged irregularities at the central prison and warned of “strict action” if anyone was found involved in wrong doing.
As the transfers of these officials has snowballed into a major political controversy the Chief Minister secretariat issued a statement justifying the transfers. It said “In its unrelenting pursuit of truth and justice, the Government of Karnataka has made consistent efforts to inquire into and act strictly upon cases of serious irregularities, in the larger public interest”.
“In order to maintain the sanctity of the inquiry process and safeguard it from further interference, the Government has asked the DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao to proceed on leave, while DIG (Prisons) D Roopa has been transferred as Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, Bengaluru”. “The Government is committed to allow the inquiry to proceed unhinged: so that evidence based truth emerges, following which necessary and strict action will be taken to bring the guilty to book”, according to a press release by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
However opposition BJP has demanded a judicial inquiry on the entire episode and blamed Chief Minister for failure of law and order in the State.
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