VIJAYAWADA: An alleged “off the record” admission of nexus between police officers and red sanders smugglers by none other than Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) chief and DIG M Kantha Rao has created a flutter in both the government and the state police force. After a vernacular published Rao’s alleged off the record remarks, state police chief N Sambasiva Rao, at a press conference here Tuesday, opined that it was not proper on the part of the officer to air his opinions in the way he did. “He should have first discussed it within the department with the higher authorities in case he has any evidence. We have sought an explanation from him,” the DGP said.
Deputy chief minister N Chinna Rajappa, who holds the home portfolio, waded into the controversy, announcing that a probe will ordered into the “allegations” levelled by Kantha Rao. “It is true that some police officers were helping the smugglers in looting the national treasure. But, such activities have come down after the TDP government took stringent measures. However, we will order a probe immediately,” he said.
The DIG had, at a meeting of the task force, forest and police officials in Tirupati on Monday, reportedly regretted that several police officers were hand in glove with red sanders smugglers. “They are helping the smugglers. It came to my notice that some corrupt officers are even providing their vehicles to the smugglers to avoid checking at the checkposts. They are letting very valuable national resources smuggled for meagre bribes of Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000. This has increased, especially after the Seshachalam encounter, where the smugglers were killed by the task force,” he was quoted as saying.