Thursday, June 15, 2017

Govt seeks report on police HQ spat

The Hindu: G. Anand: Thiruvannatpuram: Thursday, June 15, 2017.
The Kerala government has asked the Home Department to report whether the State Police Headquarters (PHQ) was riven by internal feuds between ranking officials and if the alleged rivalries had hobbled police administration.
The inquiry was reportedly spurred by news reports and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala’s pointed allegation on Wednesday that the ‘bad-blood’ between State Police Chief T.P. Senkumar and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Administration, Tomin J. Thachankary, had almost reached ‘blows’.
The SPC and Mr. Thachankary were not immediately available for comment. However, the police top brass appeared deeply divided on the issue.
Proxy fight
A section of officers viewed the ‘standoff’ as proxy fight sanctioned by the political executive to stifle Mr. Senkumar. They felt he had incurred the wrath of the powers-that-be by winning the legal fight against his unceremonious ouster as SPC and there were relentless efforts to undermine Mr. Senkumar’s command ever since.
His orders were ‘ignored’ or brushed under the carpet. Importantly, Mr. Senkumar’s move to revive the Internal Vigilance Cell in the Police Department and to bring it under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act was scuttled. An official said the antagonism often bordered on ‘the personal’. For one, Mr. Senkumar’s long serving official driver was transferred.
Personal vendetta
Mr. Senkumar’s critics in the department offered a starkly different view of the issue. They accused the SPC of pursuing a personal vendetta against officers who he thought had not stood with him in his legal fight against the government. Those who were the ‘subjects’ of Mr. Senkumar’s ‘ire’ included officials in the confidential ‘T’ section who had turned down ‘informal demands’ from some quarters for certain files important to his case.
Acted by book
The officers said the staff were sympathetic to Mr. Senkumar’s cause but had acted by the book. Mr. Senkumar had ‘rocked the system’ by insisting that the confidential T section only answer to him. The SPC ‘impossibly insisted’ that all files in the confidential section, an estimated 5,000 files, be transferred to his confidential assistant. Mr. Senkumar also ordered a surprise inspection of the section to ‘find fault’ with staff over alleged pendency of files.
Chief Secretary Nalini Netto, who Mr. Senkumar had blamed for his ouster, has ordered the internal enquiry at the behest of the government.