THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Unrest among the DGPs over their recent transfers and appointments came up in the Assembly on Monday. Even as the opposition attacked the government for attempting to use cops as tools to protect vested interests and for acting with a vengeance against them, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala made it categorically clear it was the government’s prerogative to decide the posting of police officials. The opposition staged a walkout after permission was denied for adjournment motion.
Chennithala said, “It’s not for the officials to decide which post they should be appointed to. That cannot be accepted,” referring to a statement of DGP Loknath Behera in this regard. Countering opposition charges that an ADGP was made Vigilance chief when there were three DGPs, Chennithala said earlier the LDF governments had done the same on many occasions and cited names of officials, including Siby Mathews.
Terming charges of transfers and appointments of DGPs were linked to the Pattoor case and other cases baseless, Chennithala said there were no issues in the Home Department.
The government has taken extra efforts to ensure that promotion of IPS officials was given on time, through ex-cadre postings.
“There are two cadre posts and two ex-cadre posts of DGPs in Kerala. As soon as Vinson M Paul retired, Rishiraj Singh was promoted to the DGPO rank,” he said. The chief minister and home minister have already raised the issue with the Centre pointing out that long-time ex-cadre posts can be made cadre posts and the reply is due, he said.
Raising the issue, P Sreeramakrishnan wanted to know why an ADGP was appointed to the cadre post of Vigilance chief when there were three DGPs other than the state police chief. “Following government decision two DGPs went on leave. Such issues are affecting the morale of officials and sending out a wrong message,” he pointed out and alleged that the government was acting with a vengeance against some of them.
Officials expressing dissatisfaction, making public statements, going on leave, IPS association meeting and an official seeking to file defamation against the chief minister - these are things to be viewed seriously, Sreeramakrishnan pointed out. He also criticised the government for transferring Jacob Thomas from Vigilance to Fire and Rescue and later to Construction Corporation.
Before the walkout, opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said the UDF government was trying to demoralise the officials. Police, Fire & Rescue, Jail and Vigilance are without a head now; those with self-respect cannot work under the current government,” he said.