THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The unceremonious exit of Jacob Thomas as Fire Force DGP has irked his colleagues in the department, who took to the social media to vent their ire at the shunting out of the senior IPS officer.
As the news of Thomas’ transfer was picked up by the media and flashed across various platforms on Wednesday night, majority of the fire and rescue personnel expressed their anguish and dissent through WhatsApp groups.The messages, with the header ‘Please support Dr Jacob Thomas, circulated via the WhatsApp groups said:”Senayil Pottitheri ( explosion in fire force), DGPne matti ini veendum thudangam koolipani ! ( DGP removed, we shall start doing petty jobs again), The NOC officials of builders will have a great time, a great loss to fire force..., Within a short span of time, the DGP has done many things for the welfare of the department.”
Requesting anonymity, a senior Fire and Rescue official told Express that the removal of Thomas was the clearest instance yet of the ‘nasty game’ played by vested interests. Itis also feared that this could hamper the smooth functioning of the department.Ever since Thomas assumed charge, there was a tangible change in the functioning of the department, which instilled a positive energy in the personnel. He literally transformed the department into a ‘ Fire and Rescue’ as several officers had earlier been assigned to rescue the ‘cat and dogs’, department sources said.
According to the officials, Thomas’ exit could well be the outcome of the pressure exerted by the builders’ lobby, which had been under pressure from the outgoing DGP to ensure proper security and safety measures in high-rises. Not only that, Thomas had objected to NOCs being granted to some of the builders in Malappuram and other districts. Infact, this had irked the builders, who wanted him removed.
The DGP’s insistence on enforcing the safety rules for the buildings, besides his order that buildings having more than three floors should be equipped with fire and safety measures,did little to endear him to the realtors. In the end, the builders put pressure on the government to oust the upright officer at the earliest, a fire andrescue personnel said
Despite the widespread outrage, the officials, though, are not willing to go on the record fearing disciplinary action.