Amid corruption charge, K9 squad now appoints retired cops as trainers
The state government has already announced a probe into the allegations of financial irregularities regarding the purchase of dogs from Punjab and Rajasthan.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Still smarting under the allegations of financial irregularities, the state dog squad has now come under the scanner for employing retired police personnel as master trainers thereby further draining the exchequer.
The state government has already announced a probe into the allegations of financial irregularities regarding the purchase of dogs from Punjab and Rajasthan and the procurement of food and medicine for them. The documents accessed by TNIE revealed that three retired cops were posted as master dog trainers when the department got enough manpower on rolls to carry out the same duty.
The appointment was done about six months ago allegedly at the behest of state dog training centre nodal officer S S Suresh, who is now under suspension. He was suspended after Vigilance filed a report with the government seeking permission to inquire into the allegations of financial irregularities against him.
A retired senior civil police officer has been appointed as the master trainer for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam City, while a retired sub-inspector has been given the charge of master trainer for Alappuzha, Thrissur City, Palakkad and Malappuram. The third retired cop, who had hung his boots as a sub-inspector is the master trainer of Kozhikode and Wayanad.
According to sources in the K9 squad (dog squad), there are about a dozen master trainers, who are serving cops. But instead of using their service, the three were roped in because of their perceived connections with the higher officers.
“Several master trainers, who are still in service, have been sidelined to facilitate re-entry of the retired cops. These retired cops have also been made part of the monthly assessment team to examine the performance of the canines and their handlers,” sources added.
Sources said the assessment team was set up only to rehabilitate the three retired cops. “There are seven master trainers or in-charges in the assessment team and three of them are retired cops. The whole exercise is a sham and its purpose is to make it appear that there are some issues in the squad regarding training. Only that way can the retired cops be brought in with a bogus claim that their service could be of some use to the squad said an official.