BENGALURU: A Deputy Commissioner of Police posted in the city is in the dock for allegedly leaking contents of a phone conversation between a senior IPS officer and a Kannada activist.
The call between the two was recorded when police had tapped the activist’s phone during the Cauvery riots in the city.
In September 2016, DCP Ajay Hilori had legally intercepted conversations between then Additional Commissioner of Police (West), Bengaluru, K S R Charan Reddy and Kannada activists. He had shared recordings of the phone conversations with lower rank officials and others.
Reddy now heads the Special Investigation Team probing illegal iron ore mining cases and Hilori is currently posted as DCP East.
Charan Reddy had filed a complaint with Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (DPAR). Director General and Inspector General (DG&IGP) R K Dutta had ordered an internal inquiry asking city police commissioner Praveen Sood to look into it. However there was no progress in the case. On Tuesday, Dutta summoned Sood and sought details. An internal inquiry was initiated by the city police too into the issue.
Speaking to reporters, Sood said that a senior police officer is investigating the incident. “Once the investigation is completed, a report will be sent to the DG&IGP. I do not want to reveal more details about the issue at this stage,” he added. Sources said, “Additional Commissioner of Police (crime) S Ravi has been directed to probe the allegations against Hilori. He questioned the DCP on Tuesday.”
When asked to comment, Reddy refused saying, “I do not want to comment on the issue as it is now being probed.” Hilori did not respond to calls.
According to sources, Reddy had filed the complaint in September and DG&IGP R K Dutta had ordered the probe in March, but nothing was done for the last eight months.
What happened on that day
On September 8, a day before the Karnataka bandh to protest against the Supreme Court order to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the West division police had taken Kannada Prakash, an activist of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV), into preventive custody along with 12 others on the directions of then DCP (West) Ajay Hilori.
The same day, Reddy called the Byatarayanapura police inspector and directed him to release Prakash. The inspector then informed Hilori about Reddy’s directve.
Soon after his release, Prakash went underground. On September 12, violence broke out in Bengaluru, especially in the West division.
The police were listening in to calls of Kannada activists to counter the plans of the protesters.
During this period, they had intercepted a call from Karnataka Rakshana Vedike chief Narayana Gowda to Reddy where he spoke about the protest and preventive detention of Kannada Prakash.
What happened in the commissioner’s office?
According to police sources, then city police commissioner N S Megharikh had a chalked out a strategy to prevent violence by taking Kannada activists into confidence. On September 7, Megharikh summoned Narayana Gowda and other Kannada activists. He told them to hold protests peacefully and had also warned them of action if they were found indulging in anti-social activities. Narayana Gowda reportedly had asked that members of the Vedike not be taken into preventive custody.