Tamil Nadu: Swift action against cops, keeping with government policy

Chennai: The crackdown on the erstwhile Commissioner of Police in Chennai, Sandeep Rai Rathore, who was transferred out of the key post on Monday in the aftermath of the killing of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) State president Armstrong on Friday night, was in keeping with the DMK government’s resolve not to spare errant police officers.

Even in the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy, the government acted fast in removing the district Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath from the job after he was denying that the deaths were due to illicit liquor, which was leading to more people to the outlet of the same bootlegger.

Severe action was taken against the Kallakurichi superintendent of police Samay Singh Meena , who was suspended from service, for not stopping the illicit trade of arrack in his jurisdiction.

In fact the government did not stop with taking the SP alone to task but a whole range of personnel in the prohibition wing of the police in the district. All of them had to pay a price for the department’s failure that led to the death of nearly 65 people.

It was on the same lines, Rathore was taken off his duties as Commissioner of Police and sent to the Police Training College, Chennai. ADGP A Arun, who was taking care of Law and Order, was made the Commissioner of Police.

The transfers happened immediately and Arun, on taking charge, even spoke to the media about his plans and vision to improve the law and order in the State capital, infusing hopes in the minds of the people.

These swift actions, suspensions and transfers, were in sharp contrast to the earlier practice of the government not taking action against police officers even after they were caught making mistakes. Like the firing in Thoothukudi on protestors who were opposing the Sterlite plant.

Even when a Special DGP Rajesh Das was accused of sexually harassing a young woman IPS officer when she was on duty providing security to the then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the government did not take him to task.

Instead it took the courts to pull him up and also sentence him later on. The government of the day did not play its role against that officer, who was proved to be a sexual predator.

But the DMK government, through the swift transfer of Rathore, has sent across a message to the police department to buckle up or face the music.

Though the police managed to arrest the killers of Armstrong within hours of the incident, there were subsequent goof ups on managing traffic and also controlling the crowds that came to pay homage to the departed leader.

Also it was indeed the failure of the police intelligence wing to sniff the conspiracy that was being hatched by the killers much ahead of executing their plans. The police had come to know of all that only through the confession of the arrested persons.

An intelligence alert on the attack in advance would have enabled the government to prevent such a catastrophe and also getting a bad name.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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