BHOPAL: In a significant late evening development on Tuesday, the Kamal Nath government reconstituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the recently busted alleged high-profile honey trap racket in Madhya Pradesh.
Also, a major police department shake-up was carried out with transfer of 15 high-rank IPS officers.
Not only was the SIT reconstituted and its present head Sanjiv Shami removed, but the 1993 batch IPS officer (who is well known across the country’s anti-terror security establishment for his incisive working) was also removed from the post of ADG-Anti Terror Squad and Counter-Intelligence and posted as ADG (Selection and Recruitment). He was also assigned the additional charge of ADG (Anti-Naxal Operations at the state PHQ).
The new SIT will be headed by Special DG rank officer Rajendra Kumar. Kumar, a 1985-batch IPS officer who was the DG (Public Prosecution) has now been posted Special DG (Cyber Crime). The reconstituted SIT will also have on board 1989 batch IPS officer Milind Kanskar, who has also been transferred as ADG (Cyber Crime). Present SSP (Indore) Ruchi Vardhan Mishra, however, will continue to be part of the reconstituted SIT also.
The development happened just a day after CM Kamal Nath chaired a late evening meeting on Monday with the state’s Chief Secretary SR Mohanty, state’s director general of police (DGP) VK Singh and the SIT head Sanjiv Shami over progress of the SIT probe and the controversies which have cropped up.
According to informed sources, the CM is believed to have conveyed his concerns about the way the SIT was reconstituted by the state DGP for the second time without informing the state government and also various controversies surrounding the ongoing probe into the high-profile case, which has jolted the power corridors of the state.
This is the third time within nine days that the SIT has been reconstituted. On September 23, the SIT was created to probe the honey-trap racket with IG-CID Sriniwas Verma being appointed as its head. However, within next 12 hours, the SIT chief was changed and ADG-ATS and Counter-Intelligence Sanjiv Shami was appointed its head on September 24. Also, new members were added to the SIT.
However, just a week later, the SIT has been reconstituted again.
The development is being seen a fallout of series of development and controversies pertaining to the SIT probe into the honey-trap racket -- which reportedly has links to key politicians, senior bureaucrats and senior police officers.
Importantly, a major controversy was triggered a few days back, after unconfirmed media reports had linked a rented flat in Ghaziabad (reportedly used as safe-house/guest house by STF/Cyber Crime Cell for cops on special operations) with the honey-trap racket.
The Special DG (Cyber Crime/STF) Purushottam Sharma had raised the issue of linking of the rented flat with honey-trap racket as well as the SIT being headed by an ADG-rank officer. He had told journalists on Saturday, “I personally believe that in the wake of these developments, the position of the state DGP becomes untenable and he lands in a slight controversy. Owing to this I firmly believe that in the wake of such controversies, it’s all in the fairness of justice that supervision of the SIT is carried out by a DG-rank official who is not under the control of the state PHQ. Secondly, I also personally believe that with cyber cell and STF operations being very sensitive in nature, their location-specific details (like where they stay during special operations) shouldn’t be made public, as its ramifications could be serious,” Sharma had said on Saturday.
15 high-rank IPS officers also transferred
In a related development, 15 high-ranked IPS officers too were given new postings by the state government. Important changes, included Special DG (Cyber Crime) Purshottam Sharma being appointed DG (Public Prosecution), present DG (Public Prosecution) being posted as Special DG (Cyber Crime), State Transport Commissioner Shailendra Srivastava being brought back to parent department as Chairman of State Police Housing Corporation. Also, ADG-Intelligence Kailash Makwana was shifted as ADG-Administration, while present ADG (Administration) SW Naqvi was posted as ADG-Intelligence.
Also, present IG (Bhopal) Yogesh Deshmukh was shifted as IG-Administration at state PHQ.