IPS officer, 5 policemen suspended for Rajagopal’s escape

Last Updated: Monday, December 21, 2009 - 23:57

Vijayawada/Hyderabad: The dramatic escape of
Congress MP L Rajagopal on a fast against division of Andhra
Pradesh from a hospital only to surface in another left the
state government red faced Monday and the Vijayawada Police
Commissioner and five other police officers were suspended.

The state government cracked the whip against the police
after taking a "very serious view" of the "dereliction
of duty" in dealing with what Chief Minister K Rosaiah said
"the escape from the government hospital in a total filmy
style."

An inquiry has been ordered and a case was being booked
against Police Commissioner Rajendranath Reddy, said Rosaiah,
who also said there is "suspicion" whether the police connived
with the MP. Reddy is a Deputy Inspector General of Police
rank officer of the 1992 IPS batch.

"The failure and irresponsibility of police was glaring
in Rajagopal’s escapade," Rosaiah said after an emergency
meeting with some of his Cabinet colleagues in the state
Secretariat in Hyderabad.

Reddy has failed to discharge his duties by allowing
Rajagopal to escape from the Government General Hospital while
undergoing medical treatment as per the court orders, an order
issued by Principal Secretary (Political) Gonela Rajendra
Mohan said.

45-year-old Rajagopal, who has been on a fast for the
past nine days in support of a united Andhra Pradesh, fled
from the Government Hospital in Vijayawada late last night
when a couple of hundred of his supporters gharaoed policemen
to divert their attention. The incident led to some tense
moments and sent the top police brass in a tizzy.

Rajagopal was admitted in the Vijayawada hospital four
days ago after being taken into custody by the police. He
surfaced in the Nizam Institute of Sciences (NIZMS) in the
afternoon after about 15 hours and was seen hurrying into the
hospital in the state capital.

Rosaiah, who reviewed the prevailing situation, ordered
that Rajendranath Reddy be placed under suspension for
"exhibiting gross negligence in discharge of duties."

Besides Reddy, Vijayawada Assistant Commissioner of
Police A V Subba Rao, Inspectors Lakshmipathi, K Dharmendra,
sub-inspectors P Bhaskara Rao and R V S Kamalakar were also
placed under suspension in the same case on similar charges.

"There is suspicion whether the police connived with him.
An inquiry has been ordered into the whole issue," Rosaiah
said.

"Rajagopal escaped from the government hospital in a total
filmy style. The police were totally lax in preventing it. We
have taken a very serious view of it and placed six police
officers, including the Police Commissioner, under suspension
with immediate effect,” the Chief Minister said.

Rosaiah said a case was being booked against Rajagopal
over his escape from the government hospital. He said the
inquiry would establish whether the police had knowledge about
Rajagopal’s movements since his escape from the hospital.

Asked if there was any intelligence failure in Rajagopal’s
escapade in Vijayawada and his dramatic entry into NIMS in
Hyderabad this afternoon, the Chief Minister said the inquiry
would cover this aspect as well. "We will take appropriate
action if the intelligence failure is established," he
added.

Meanwhile, the government has also placed the Pulivendula
inspector of police Ramana, sub-inspector Parthasarathy Reddy,
Kadapa Armed Reserve sub-inspector Doraswamy Naik and four
constables under suspension holding them responsible for the
damage caused to public property in Pulivendula on Saturday.

Properties of BSNL, the local tahsildar’s office and the
roads and buildings executive engineer’s office were set on
fire by protesters in Pulivendula, the home town of late chief
minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

Rosaiah had warned on the day that the `government will
not tolerate or sit quiet if law is taken into one’s own
hands.`

“The suspensions should serve as a warning to other police
officers and men against being lax in discharge of their
duties. While we told the police that there should not be any
‘over-action’ on their part in tackling the ongoing protests,
it doesn’t mean that there should be any inaction,” Rosaiah
observed.

Asked if action would be initiated against political
leaders, who issued threats to the public as well as leaders
spearheading the pro-unified state agitation, the chief
minister said: "We will be watching them very carefully. Law
is law for all."

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 21, 2009 - 23:57

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