Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shame on police for wrong theory

Shame on police for wrong theory

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Oct. 24: All those who went to town over the suspected Naxalite angle to DIG Jaswinder Singh’s murder yesterday, received a cold blow today when it had turned out to be a case of murder by none other than Singh’s personal security officer.
The loss of face for the government, specifically the entire police administration, was palpable in view of yesterday’s announcements ~ combing operations, missives to the Centre and neighbouring states and high alerts.

Tall claims of having modernised the police communication system, trained manpower and investigative practices stood exposed by two constables who had put everybody right from the chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik, DGP Mr Amarananda Patnaik, home secretary Mr TK Mishra to other administrative elite on a wild goose chase.
SN Sarangi and AK Sarangi, the two PSO’s (constable rank one who joined a couple of days ago) spun a story of Naxalite attack after the killing and the government was put to embarrassment after the theory turned out to be false.

But most shocking of it all was the fact that the driver of the vehicle, Mr CS Behera, revealed the truth yesterday itself. Yet, high level meetings took place and messages were sent across the neighbouring states as well as to the Union home minister.

Even when several IPS officers posted in different parts of the state making enquiries about their colleague’s death and even as the media knew that Maoists were not involved in the murder the government did not talk of this aspect till this morning and that too after the DGP himself visited Rayagada.

When confronted with questions on this, both the home secretary and the DGP had ready answers ~ “No it is not a loss of face for the government, if we had not taken all those measures and if it had turned out to be a Naxalite attack you would have blamed us for inaction.”

Asked why they had not revealed the driver’s version earlier, they said nothing was clear. The driver was saying one thing, while the two PSOs were giving a different version. The home secretary was being unduly technical as the IG is posted in the Vigilance wing which comes under the general administration department.

But the fact that he was the senior most IPS officer who had reached Rayagada and was present during postmortem cannot be wished away. The fact that a whole lot of people including police officers were aware of the drivers statement and that Singh had died of a shot fired by his own PSO yesterday was a situation from which the government tried to wriggle out in vain.

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