Uproar on Karnataka Govt’s anti-minority stand in Police Chief’s appointment

December 2, 2011 by  
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DG and IGP KarnatakaKarnataka, December 1, 2011: The All India Christian Council (Karnataka Chapter) has condemned the BJP government’s discrimination against A.R. Infant, DG Fire Services who was overlooked for the top police chief’s post seemingly as he is a Muslim. A delegation of minority community leaders, led by BG Koshy met Infant and expressed their solidarity with him, as an honest and committed officer for the minority and the secular cause.

“Minorities are clearly hated by the BJP, ” the Karnataka aicc head Kumar Swamy stated.” Only Lingayats are chosen. The Bangalore police commissioner is also a Lingayat. The new DGP is Mr Shankar Bidari also a Lingayat. The CM is a Lingayat. Muslims, Christians & minorities stand no chance.” he concluded.

In a memorandum to the Governor of the state, the Christian rights organisation said – ” The Government of Karnataka has done grave injustice to Mr A.R Infant, IPS by overlooking his claim to be the DG and IG of Karnatak. We are given to understand that caste and other considerations played a part in the process of selection. This is well known.  Mr Infant is a candidate of impeccable integrity, sound t track record and outstanding merit. There are no allegations against him. His competitiors lag far behind in all these areas.  
In comparison, the others in the reckoning are definitely found wanting. They face allegations of disproportionate assets, human rights violations, lack of competence and nepotism. Caste has played a significant and unhealthy role in the recent appointment to the top post. Mr Infant, being a Muslim has deliberately been overlooked. He has suffered a serious violation of his fundamental rights. Secularism has taken beating.  Minority rights have been trampled upon”.
The delegation therefore urged the Governor to provide immediate relief and instruct the Chief Minister to reconsider his unjust decision. Bidari is junior to Infant. He also has a poor track record and is reportedly well known for his dubious integrity. He has also allegedly been found violating human rights of the poor Tamils in the Madumalai jungles during his hunt for Veerappan. Several human rights organisations including SICHREM  have indicted him.

Shankar Mahadev Bidari, an officer of the 1978 batch of the Indian Police Service serving as Director-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, has taken charge as Director-General and Inspector-General of Police from N. Achuta Rao, who retired on Wednesday.

The appointment was reportedly marked by acrimony and confusion. The Government, it is learnt, first approved the name of the senior-most IPS officer, Abdul Rehman Infant, who belongs to the 1977 batch, only to retract and approve the appointment of Mr. Bidari. The latter earlier served as Commissioner of Police, Bangalore. Reportedly, pressure was exerted by a section of BJP legislators to appoint Mr. Bidari instead of Mr. Infant.

Mr. Infant and Mr. Bidari are due to retire in May 2012. This case is similar to the tussle for the post between D.V. Guruprasad and S.T. Ramesh who both belonged to the 1976 batch of the IPS and retired on July 31, 2011.

While Mr. Guruprasad enjoyed inter se seniority, Mr. Ramesh was appointed DG&IGP. He, however, did not last his full term (six months) following the directions of the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Union Public Service Commission.

Mr. Bidari took charge from Mr. Rao in the presence of several senior police officers soon after the appointment order was issued. The farewell parade for Mr. Rao earlier in the day was put off since he was in New Delhi to participate in a meeting of the UPSC to shortlist officers eligible for appointment as DG&IGP. Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath flew to New Delhi to attend this meeting at short notice.

As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the State Government sent a list of five senior officers (eligible for appointment as DG&IGP) to the UPSC to enable the latter to finalise a panel of three names for consideration by the State Government.

The five were A.R. Infant, Director General of Fire and Emergency Services and Commandant-General of Home Guards and Civil Defence; L. Pachau (1977 batch), presently serving as Director-General of Police, Mizoram; Shankar Bidari, DGP, CID; Sushant Mohapatra, Director-General of Police (Training); and R.K. Dutta, Chairman and Managing Director, Karnataka Police Housing Corporation. After a meeting on Wednesday, the UPSC approved the names of Mr. Infant, Mr. Pachau and Mr. Bidari.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Infant said, “Injustice has been done to me and my seniority and merit have been overlooked. I will seek legal remedy in due course.”

Mr. Infant, who has served in various positions in the Bangalore City Police, was also overlooked when it came to the appointment of the Police Commissioner of Bangalore.

– s rajendran

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