Hyderabad: He is an upright IPS officer, a gentleman who rubbed many a politician the wrong way, courted controverst and yet rose to the top. Mr Ajit Kumar Mohanty, a.k.a. A.K. Mohanty heads the only family with three IPS officers in the state. He feels the IPS is more challenging and satisfying as it can help the people at large.
Tall, suave and slim even at 68, Odisha-born Mohanty, an AP cadre IPS officer of the 1975 batch, served in various capacities in undivided Andhra Pradesh including as Director-General of Police in the 2009 elections. He is presently adviser to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.
Like dad, Avinash Mohanty (2005 batch) and Abishek Mohanty (2011) preferred the IPS. Avinash is posted as DCP, Detective Department, in Hyderabad while Abhishek is superintendent of police, Tirupati Urban, Andhra Pradesh.
“IPS was my choice and that of my children. I appeared for the IPS, was selected for the IPS and joined the IPS. Avinash’s merit could have got him the IAS, but he chose the IPS. Abhishek too choose the IPS,” Mr Mohanty told this newspaper.
“They believe the same ethics and values that I believe in. To be bold, honest, have both feet on the ground, follow rule of law, ensure justice and fair play... These are into my family. My wife Rajashree has sacrificed a lot for us”, he said.
Mr Mohanty’s handling of N.T. Rama Rao’s Save Democracy movement in 1984, the communal riots and agitations and the 2009 general elections earned him name and fame. He was appointed DGP by the Election Commission in 2009, but had a 59-day tenure.
Mr Mohanty served in the governments of Dr M. Channa Reddy, Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy, N.T. Rama Rao, Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, N. Chandrababu Naidu, Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy and N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
“I was comfortable in all the governments. I did my job and they (politicians) did theirs. If you are a man of certain values, ethics and convictions, they (politicians) don’t bother you much. They leave it. If you don’t run after posts and personal favours, you will not have any serious problem in your career,” he said.
Did politicians take him for granted? “Stop blaming politicians. Yes, they ask you to do certain things, but don’t press it too hard if you are convinced that you are doing the right thing in the right way. In Andhra Pradesh, politicians are not vindictive. They may shift you from the post, that’s their compulsion,” Mr Mohanty explains.
He recalled two incidents: “One CM asked me to release some seized lorries. I did not oblige. I convinced him that we were right. He did not press the matter further. Another CM was tense when I took on his ally for wrong doing. I got the hint that I would be shifted. He asked me for my choice of posting. I said ‘give me anything’.”
“They have political compulsions,” Mr Mohanty said, “I don’t have one. I am obliged to the people.”
The veteran cop says the IPS offers a lot more challenges and opportunities. “Peace and order is a must in society. You (IPS) are in a position to help people in distress, create an environment of safety and security. Without that nothing in a society moves,” Mr Mohanty said.
He said the challenges were far too many today, with everything including national integrity, security and economy under threat hence need good police officers.
Interestingly, Mr Mohanty’s father-in-law Damodar Chhotray was an IPS officer of the 1948 batch in Odisha. Mr Mohanty’s father Kahetrabasi Mohanty was a government employee and mother Adarmani a home-maker. The family has four brothers and a sister.
Mr Mohanty, who is also chairman of Kalinga Cultural Trust, was instrumental in the construction of the famed Jagannath Swamy temple in Banjara Hills....