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The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala today suspended DGP Jacob Thomas, the senior-most IPS officer in the state cadre, from service for his anti-government remarks. Thomas, who was serving as the director of the Institute of Management in Government (IMG), for the last seven months was earlier removed from the position of the chief of vigilance and anti-corruption bureau by the ruling party. According to official sources, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed suspension of the officer under the relevant sections of All India Service Rules as some of his recent remarks had shown the state government in poor light. Recently during a seminar on International Anti- Corruption Day, Thomas had lashed out at the state government alleging that there was total breakdown of law and order situation in the state. He also accused the government of not "properly handling" the cyclone Ockhi situation. Stating that all "corrupt forces" were united in the state and were in positions of power, the official said that there was a conscious attempt to silence those who stood against corruption. However, reacting on his suspension order, Thomas said he had only talked about corruption on the Anti-Corruption Day and that he cannot be silenced with this action. "There has been a general trend worldwide to silence people when they talk about corruption. But, I am not prepared to remain silent," he told reporters here. "I am still swimming with big sharks.
In this context, it is normal to face such action. But I will continue to swim," he added. Jacob Thomas was already facing disciplinary action for penning his bare-all autobiography "Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumpol" (Swimming Along With Sharks), which he wrote without seeking any permission from the prior government. Though a three-member panel had recommended to initiate criminal proceedings against the officer, the government had later decided to limit it to disciplinary action only for penning the book. Known for his strong stand against corruption, the IPS officer had earned the ruling CPI(M)'s ire after he registered a vigilance case against the then industries minister E P Jayarajan over charges of nepotism following which he had to resign from the cabinet. Chief secretary, K M Abraham and Additional chief secretary, Tom Jose had lodged a complaint with the Chief Minister against Thomas after the vigilance department conducted raids on their residences over alleged disproportionate assets.