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Jaisalmer SP transferred for taking on Cong MLA’s father

Last Updated: Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 21:19

Jaipur: In a virtual rerun of the UP IAS officer saga, an IPS officer in Rajasthan was transferred two days after he reopened the history-sheet of a ruling Congress MLA`s father, who had allegedly been involved in smuggling and other anti-social activities.

The transfer of Superintendent of Police, Jaisalmer, Pankaj Choudhary to Kishangarh in Ajmer as Police Training Services Commandant by the state government triggered an outrage in Jaisalmer district where a bandh was observed in protest. Jaisalmer is about 575 km from here.

"As an officer of the state police department, I will soon be shifting to the new place," Choudhary said.

Choudhary said he had reopened history-sheets against several persons, including the one against Gazi Fakir, 78-year-old father of Pokhran Congress MLA Saleh Mohammed, on July 31 after a spurt in crime in the golden fort city. He was transferred two days later on August two.

The transfer comes at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government is facing flak over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal on July 27 for taking on the sand-mining mafia in Noida.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the transfer is "routine" and that nothing be read into the shifting since it was part of the reshuffle of IAS and IPS officers.

Choudhary said a history-sheet was opened against Fakir for the first time on July 31, 1965.

The police file, however, went missing in 1984, he said, adding the history-sheet was reopened six years later in 1990, but it was closed again in May 2011 by an ASP-rank official when he had been holding charge as SP.

"These were facts that raised questions and 48 hours after I re-opened the file I have been tranferred," he added.

The IPS officer said there could be a link between his reopening the history sheet of Fakir and his transfer.

"But I believe it was a government order that has to be followed. Such orders can come at any time," the officer said.

A bandh was observed in the tourist town of Jaisalmer against alleged "untimely" transfer of the IPS officer.

Businessmen, hoteliers, and tour operators led the shutdown and held a rally demanding revocation of the transfer order, police said.

The protesters alleged that the "honest and dedicated" officer, who had cracked down on crime, had been deliberately transferred under political pressure to Kishangarh in Ajmer as Police Training Services Commandant, said Kailash Meghwal, in-charge of special police branch.

Saleh Mohammed said the entire matter was suggestive of a "political conspiracy" by rival BJP and RSS members to weaken his political hold and defame his father.

This was the fourth time that a Jaisalmer SP had opened the history sheet of Fakir, Saleh said.

Reacting to the SP`s transfer, Congress spokesperson
Rashid Alvi said that the matter should not be compared to the suspension of IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal in Uttar Pradesh.

Nagpal, the Gautam Budh Nagar SDM who had launched a crackdown on illegal mining in her area, was suspended on July 27 by the Samajwadi Party government in UP for ostensibly ordering the demolition of a wall of a mosque.

"The transfer... Might have been done from an administrative point of view. I am not fully aware of the situation yet.

"This case should not be linked to Nagpal`s case. We will talk after we get complete information on the matter," Alvi said.

Meanwhile, Fakir`s son and Congress MLA Saleh Mohammed has said the entire matter was suggestive of a "political conspiracy" by rival BJP and RSS members to weaken his political hold and defame his 78-year-old father.

Saleh said that his father has been without hearing for the last 40 years.
This was the fourth time that a Jaisalmer SP had opened the history sheet of Fakir, Saleh said.

He added that since 1965, different police heads in Jaisalmer had opened investigation against his father, although all those were closed as the cases were weak.

"There is no case against my father so far," Saleh claimed. "Let the state government conduct an independent probe into the matter," he said.

With Rajasthan headed for Assembly elections, Saleh alleged that BJP was trying to chip away at his political base.

"Under the Gehlot government, I have never (applied) any political pressure either on the bureaucracy or the police," he said.

"I heard a false criminal case concerning the beating up of a cop was registered against me at Jaisalmer Sadar police station yesterday... This is all part of a political conspiracy," he said.

Out of a list of 49 IPS officers to be transferred, 20 district SPs, including Choudhary, were given new appointments, Saleh said, adding "why am I blamed for it".

State BJP Vice-President Arun Chaturvedi has slammed the transfers of honest officers which he said were being done out of prejudice and political enmity.

Chaturvedi said, "Fakir has been known for decades for his smuggling and terror activities along the Rajasthan border... the Congress government, which used to shelter smugglers in the border districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, is demoralising officers through transfers."


First Published: Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 11:59

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