Hyderabad: More than six months after he was suspended for alleged “security lapses” in the security arrangements for Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who was on a visit to the famous Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam cadre IPS officer Bhanwar Lal Meena continues to be under suspension till date.
On October 17 last year, BJP president Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were inside the temple when the CJI arrived. Due to the rush, Justice Gogoi had to wait for some time, reportedly 34 seconds, before he could enter the temple, after which the IPS officer, DCP, West, Guwahati at that time, and additional deputy commissioner were suspended since they could not ensure seamless entry for the CJI and his wife.
Soon after the incident, the Assam government ordered an inquiry which was conducted by a senior police official. The enquiry report was submitted to the Chief Minister a fortnight ago.
“Ever since the incident took place, I have been attached to the police headquarters, without any assignment (posting). I continue to draw my salary but without work. The enquiry was over and I have given my statement. Even the statements of witnesses were also taken. I do not know the outcome of the inquiry,'' Mr Meena told Deccan Chronicle, on a day when a special bench of the Supreme Court called an emergency hearing after a former employee at the top court, in an affidavit to several Supreme Court judges, alleged she was sexually harassed by the CJI.
“It was Durgashtami that day and there was a heavy rush of devotees. BJP president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were present inside the temple and a lot of mediapersons had gathered apart from general public and there was a sort of blockade. The entry and exit of the temple is same and very narrow and only one person can enter or exit at one time. The CJI had to wait for 34 seconds before he could enter the temple. He did not have a seamless entry and the situation arose due to rush of VIP movements that day,” Mr Meena, an IPS officer of 2013 batch, is understood to have said in his statement before the enquiry officers.
When asked on whose instructions he was suspended, Mr Meena said he was not aware of it. “I am waiting for the outcome of the enquiry,” was all that he chose to say.
Back then, following the incident, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had demanded that the state government tender an unconditional apology to the CJI....