THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has decided to appoint Vigilance Director DGP Loknath Behera as the next state police chief. The decision was taken unanimously by the council of ministers in the Cabinet meeting held here on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a panel of three officers, led by Chief Secretary Nalini Netto, had recommended his name and handed it over to the government, superseding senior most officer DGP Jacob Thomas.
Behera will take charge on Friday the day present chief T P Senkumar retires. However, the government has deferred the decision on the appointment of the next Vigilance Director. A government source said the decision is likely to be taken in the next Cabinet meeting and Behera is likely to be given additional charge of Vigilance chief for a short term.
The source said a major reshuffle in the top police brass will take place soon as part of the new appointment. Earlier, there were reports DGP A Hemachandran, who is the director general of Fire and Rescue Services, will be given the post of Vigilance Director.
For Behera, it is a second coming to be on top of the police force in the state after a short interval. He was replaced by Senkumar on May 7 by the government when the latter was reinstated after winning a nine-month legal battle with the government from the Supreme Court. At the Vigilance headquarters, Behera thanked the government for the trust in him and to reappoint him as the police chief. “I am glad the government has trust in me. Now, my job will be the timely completion of pending cases. I will give importance to the investigation of cases. I am least bothered about controversies,” he said.
“I will improve my working style. I will work based on government policies,” he said.
Arun Kumar Sinha, a 1984-cadre officer, was also considered for the post as he is the senior-most officer. However, he reportedly expressed his unwillingness to return to the state as he is presently working with the RAW in New York. Then the obvious choice was Jacob Thomas. But the panel did not recommend him. Rishiraj Singh also found a place in the list. Later, the government decided to call back Behera after his 55-day service as Vigilance Director.
Jacob Thomas reacts
Jacob Thomas in his usual style told media persons there is no relevance in obtaining higher marks in examinations. “The IMG director post is a powerful one. I can do so many things under this post. Now, I have understood there is not much significance in getting top ranks.
In fact, I am an ardent follower of the Bhagavad Gita. As the annotation in Gita says, “I am doing my duty without foreseeing any result,” Thomas said after meeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He said there was nothing unusual in meeting the Chief Minister.
Farewell to Senkumar
The farewell parade for T P Senkumar will be held at the Special Armed Police parade ground at Peroorkada at 7.30 am on Friday. He will address the gathering and receive the salute.