A surprise suspension

Published : Sep 29, 2001 00:00 IST


AFTER taking over as Chief Minister on May 14, Jayalalithaa frequently transferred officers belonging to the Indian Administra-tive Service , the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service. The most surprising change she made involved the suspension of Director-General of Police A. Ravindranath on September 20 and the appointment of B.P. Nailwal in his place. Nailwal was Director of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) which, under the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government, investigated several cases of corruption against Jayalalithaa and her Cabinet colleagues in her previous term. The new Director of the DVAC is V.K. Rajagopalan.

It is the first time in Tamil Nadu that a DGP is suspended. Ravindranath was handpicked by Jayalalithaa for the post of DGP. He assumed charge on June 25, and DMK president and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was arrested in the early hours of June 30 in a ham-handed operation that boome-ranged on the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government. The police beat up journalists and smashed their cameras and video equipment on August 12 in front of the DGP's Office on the Marina when the DMK took out a procession to condemn the arrest of Karunanidhi. Several journalists received bleeding injuries.

But Ravindranath's suspension had nothing to do with these messy operations. Informed sources said that he was suspended on the basis of complaints of corruption in the transfers and postings of Deputy Superinten-dents of Police, Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors and sexual harassment of women police officers, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police. When he was DGP (Training) earlier, he allegedly forced new recruits to buy insurance policies from a relative, who is an insurance agent.

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