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Monday, January 23, 2012

Over a dozen J&K SSPs punished in 13 years

Irregularity in appointments, fraudulent withdrawal of cops’ GP Fund, misusing official vehicles for construction of private houses, murder of SI caused a dent to JKP’s image

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jan 21: Nauman Thakur, the son of a senior retired bureaucrat Ghulam Mohammad Thakur, is the only Police officer in a crowd of over 20 who was not punished for any of his faults. Governor’s administration had appointed Engineering graduate Nauman as Dy SP ‘in relaxation of rules and norms’ vide Order No: 207-Home (P) on 6-7-1995. A division bench of J&K High Court, comprising then acting Chief Justice, V K Jhanji, and Justice S K Gupta, quashed his appointment on 28-5-2003 when Nauman was completing eight years in J&K Police and he had been promoted to the rank of SP on completion of five years of service.

Nauman’s appointment was the result of an employees’ agitation that helped then Commissioner-Secretary General Administration Department (GAD), G M Thakur seek a post-retirement package from Governor Lt Gen K V Krishna Rao---his own appointment as a member of J&K State Public Service Commission (PSC) as well as his son’s backdoor appointment as Dy SP. Even as Nauman proved his worth and fought valiantly during a suicide attack on J&K Legislative Assembly on October 1st, 2001, in which he had a narrow escape and his PSO got killed, he failed to find favour with High Court or Supreme Court in the matter of his backdoor appointment.

Few years later, SP headquarters Srinagar, Mohammad Ramzan Hafiz’s service was terminated by the state government on account of his carelessness and alleged involvement in swindling of GF Fund of the staff in Srinagar District Police. His culpability was taken far seriously than that of SP Abdul Aziz Samoon who was simply placed under suspension years before for allegedly publishing a paid advertisement in local Urdu dailies. In the text of apology, Samoon had declared publicly that he would not act “against my own brothers” (militants) when he was posted in Anantnag and assigned a counter-insurgency task.

Commandant of J&K Armed Police, 3rd battalion (Security) Mushtaq Ahmad Keenu was placed under suspension and a departmental inquiry was ordered against him on March 22, 2007. On a specific information, State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) had conducted a raid on Keenu’s under-construction house at Luxmipuram, Chinore, in Jammu on March 7th and claimed to have seized a truck laden with 45 bags of cement and 500 bricks. According to the charges leveled against the SSP, the officer had misused his official position and transported building material from Srinagar to Jammu in the officially hired vehicle. With the charge still under investigation, Keenu has been since reinstated.

In July 1998, then SSP Anantnag, Ashkoor Wani (SPS-99, presently SSP Poonch)) and then DIG South Kashmir, Dibagh Singh, (IPS of 1987, presently IGP Jammu), were removed and placed under suspension on account of their alleged involvement in a constables recruitment scandal. Their suspension followed submission of an inquiry report to the government by then DIG Armed, Dr Ashok Bhan, when some candidates alleged that the officers had collected Rs 60 Lakhs and favoured unqualified candidates. Dr Farooq Abdullah’s NC government assigned the investigation to Crime Branch and a preliminary inquiry, conducted by senior IPS officer R V Raju, reportedly established part of the charges but a formal criminal case was not registered against the duo. Both were later reinstated even as then DGP Gurbachan Jagat appeared to be gunning for them for some time. Though nothing has been made public, insiders in the executive Police insist that charges could not be formally established against the accused.

In September 2005, Jammu & Kashmir Police was rocked by mysterious killing of a civilian, Nitan Sharma of Nagri Parole Kathua, when Commandant of IRP 6th Bn, Karnail Singh, and his wife, Ratano Devi, were arrested and booked in the murder case. Charges framed by the prosecution later said that the Commandant, alongwith his wife, had planned and executed elimination of the individual who was allegedly in an affair with one of the family members and was planning to tie his nuptial knot to her. Even as the Commandant was later released on bail and he has been an under-trial for the last six years, his wife has failed to get bail. Six of Singh’s subordinate personnel were also arrested for their alleged participation in the crime.

Previously in 1998-99, then SP Operation at Surankote, Poonch, Sevak Singh was removed from service, arrested and placed under suspension for allegedly using two of his PSOs in the murder of Sub Inspector Ajay Sharma. Prosecution has established charges against Singh and the under-trial has been in jail or the last over 13 years.

[To be concluded]  

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