THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid reports that State Police Chief Loknath Behera’s name is actively being considered for Central deputation, a tussle has emerged between a section of senior officers over the successorship. Highly-placed sources said Behera’s name is still in consideration for some plum post either in CBI or NIA. In the wake of such a probability, a section of officers have already started lobbying for the hot seat, further straining their already frayed personal relationship.
Even as the Centre is yet to deliver a final word on Behera’s deputation, two senior officers in the rank of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) even paid a visit to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently to convey their wish to join the rat race for the post of top cop.
One of them is a very senior officer, while the second one is three years junior to him. Behera, a member of 1985-batch of IPS, has got two more years of service and is due to retire in 2021. Though TNIE tried to contact Behera, he was not available for comment.
A source said there are high chances for the incumbent police chief to get Central deputation and that expectation has fuelled the ambitions of a few officers. Apart from that, the state government does not have a clear favourite for the post and hence certain officers feel they have the credentials to be the next-in-line if Behera gets a call-up, the source added.
“There are no officers who can be called as the government’s favourite when it comes to posting as State Police Chief. Hence those who are eyeing the post are throwing their weight around for the post. There has always been bad blood among some of the officers and that makes the fight for the post more personal,” said a trusted source.
As of now, Prison DGP Rishi Raj Singh is the senior-most officer after Behera and Jacob Thomas, who is the Managing Director of Kerala Steel and Metal industries. Road Safety Commissioner N Shanker Reddy is the next in the seniority list followed by Transport Commissioner R Sreelekha, Crime Branch ADGP Tomin J Thachankary and SCRB ADGP Sudeshkumar, in that order.