CHENNAI: Senior police officer S George, an influential figure in the State force during the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s rule, retired on Thursday after 33 years of service. In his long career, the 1984-cadre officer has had multiple stints as the commissioner of Chennai city police, was the powerful ADGP of Law and Order, was promoted to DGP rank, and was once rumoured to be in the run to become the head of the State Police, but retired as the head of Fire and Rescue Services.
George tackled two of the famous public protests in recent years – the anti-nuclear protest at Koodankulam and the more recent jallikattu protests. In the first case, George, as ADGP in charge of law and order, was instrumental in containing the protesters inside a small area far away from the nuclear power complex. He was the city police commissioner when protests for jallikattu rose, waned and then exploded, which was allegedly handled with decreasing level of efficiency.
Though there has been rare occasions of him earning her rebuke, George was known to be close to Jayalalithaa. As a joint commissioner, he was involved in the controversial midnight arrest of her arch rival, DMK president M Karunanidhi; he was among the first who arrived outside her home on the day results for the 2011 Assembly poll was declared in which Jaya emerged winner; and he was at the head of her casket on the day Jaya was buried.
This open loyalty also cost him during DMK reigns, which shunted him out to insignificant posts whenever it came to power. The Election Commission, too, had transferred him from the post of Chennai city police commissioner ahead of the now-rescinded bypoll to RK Nagar constituency.
A native of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and a mechanical engineering graduate from Kerala University, George started his career as assistant superintendent of police, Kamudhi, in Ramanathapuram. He had also done Behavioural Science from IIT Delhi, and holds degrees from Bruce College and City University, United States.