By the Way

Faceoff in Kerala

no-image-avialableFacebook is becoming the battleground for officials to show their resentment, openly defying the All India Service Rules. It has happened in MP and now it is happening in Kerala. There is intense infighting among top bureaucrats in Kerala. And, this seems to have been one of the important factors for the downfall of the UDF government. The infighting was so severe that TP Senkumar was removed from the post of DGP (Law and Order). Senkumar, who is due to retire only in June 2017, has been sent to head the Kerala Police Housing Construction Corporation, infamous as a doghouse posting in police circles. The story begins a little earlier… When the UDF government sought opinion in appointing a new Chief Secretary to fill PK Mohanthy’s post on his retirement, Senkumar had recommended the name of SM Vijayanand. The UDF government was in favour of appointing Home Secretary Nalini Netto as the Chief Secretary. However, the government considered the opinion of Senkumar along with other matters and appointed Vijayanand. And the infighting broke out. Senkumar felt insulted and showed his displeasure on Facebook. He used the State Police Chief’s official Facebook page, that has more than 97,000 likes, to pat himself on the back, boasting of his credentials as an officer with honesty and integrity and someone who had never done anything wrong in his 35-year-long career. In between, Senkumar let in a line, dripping with sarcasm-“I still have all my vertebra intact”-an apparent reference to show he did not bend before anyone to get a plum post. Many in Kerala infer this as a nasty reference to his successor, Loknath Behra, and a jibe that Behra lobbied to become the Kerala DGP. Behra has been IG of Operations at the NIA and had interrogated American terrorist David Coleman Headley; he also investigated the Purulia arms drop case while at the CBI. That Senkumar would be a casualty was certain ever since it was clear that the LDF will form the government. Senkumar had come in for criticism by present Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the shoddy handling of the Jisha rape and murder case in Perambavoor. The appointment of Additional DGP, B Sandhya, to head the probe team soon after Vijayan took over was an indication to Senkumar that his time was up. One suspects the stern Vijayan isn’t likely to tolerate officers overstepping the line.

VOL. 10, ISSUE 3 | JUNE, 2016

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