In a major faux pas, a police official chargesheeted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths in the liquor scam, was feted by the district administration as best officer during the 66th Independence Day (ID) celebrations at Police parade grounds in Hanamkonda on Wednesday.
While it raises question over the criteria adopted to select its best officials by the urban police department, anti-liquor activists see it as a gradual attempt by the state to bury the liquor scandal and those police officials implicated by the ACB.
In the 30 ‘best police personnel’ shortlisted by the urban police department, Warangal, for receipt of ID honours from the hands of IT minister Ponnala Lakshamaiah, anti-liquor activists questioned the felicitation of then Subedari SI S. Ravi Kumar (now posted in Dharmasagar) after ACB named him with 40 other tainted police personnel in the liquor scam.
As per the Annexure III, table 4, page 8 of scrutiny report signed by P. Jaipal, DSP, ACB, CR-1, Hyderabad, dated 21-01-2012, it notes that one “Sri Veera Swamy, PC of Subedari PS has collected monthly mamool Rs.6,000, Rs.7,000, and Rs.6,000 for SI Ravi Kumar on 10.08.2011, 10/11.09.2011 and 10.10.2011 from Surabhi wines counter, Subedari”.
“The state is setting a bad precedent by felicitating a tainted official. Though there are other police personnel who have collected more mamools, there is a definite chance that the cases against all the 40 tainted police personnel figuring in ACB report from Warangal would get a soft burial,” says an RTI activist, on condition of anonymity.
It may be recalled that in their investigation, the ACB sleuths of Warangal identified four DSPs, seven CIs, two ASIs, seven SIs and 20 constables, who were found to have nexus with liquor syndicates during the last excise period.
However, action was initiated only against a few officials like then Subedari CI R. Ranadheer, then DSP Mamnoor Ch. Venkateshwar Rao, CI J. Vijayasaradhi and two DSPs namely T. Ramprasad Rao and R. Veereswara Rao by way of either suspension or arrests.
Barring the above incident, the 66th ID celebration was a smooth and routine affair that saw participation of 1,200 schoolchildren.
Earlier, in his ID address, IT minister Mr Ponnala Lakshamaiah listed the welfare measures initiated by the government in different sectors like health, education, poverty alleviation, irrigation, agriculture, housing and welfare measures for SC, ST and BCs.