Posting of controversial IPS officer fuels Kerala protests

TRIVANDRUM - The Kerala government on Friday posted a senior Indian Police Service officer involved in several cases, including one pertaining to the country’s security, as the head of a state-run marketing company, triggering instant protests.

By (T K Devasia)

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Published: Sun 20 Nov 2011, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:18 AM

Thachankary, who was suspended by the previous Left Democratic Front government following allegations that he had allegedly established links with militant groups, is now under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that he was posted as managing director of the Kerala Marketing Federation with the NIA clearance. He was earlier reinstated in service without any charge after the expiry of suspension period. He was given the present posting after the Finance Department blocked his salary.

The chief minister told reporters here that the posting was legal. However, senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran said that the posting given to the officer without completing the investigation would tarnish the image of the UDF government.

Sudheeran, a former speaker and minister, said that the reinstatement of the controversial officer before being cleared by the court was incorrect. He urged the government to reconsider the decision.

Leader of opposition V S Achuthanandan also took strong exception to the posting and also a reported move to promote him as additional director-general of police. He asked the chief minister to clarify on what basis he was given the posting.

Thachankary was suspended from service in April 2010 for undertaking foreign visits without prior permission of the government. The investigation into his foreign trip was taken over by the NIA following reports from the Indian envoy in Qatar that he had established contacts with some militants wanted in India.

Apart from this, some cases involving unaccounted wealth, smuggling of electronic goods and custody torture are also pending against him. The 16-year-old case related to the custodial torture of Punnappra Prakashan is now under trial in a court in Aleppey.

An attempt for out of court settlement of the custody torture case was recently made. However, the Aleppey Chief Judicial Court refused settlement in the Punnapra in the case. Judge P Ragini has made it clear that the case would be disposed of only after the trial. Prakasan had moved the court accusing Thachankary of torturing him after implicating him in a false case when the latter served as Deputy Superintendent of Police in Aleppey.

He told reporters on Friday that he was withdrawing the case as he had no financial capacity to pursue the case.

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