A controversy has erupted in Chhattisgarh over the transfer of an IPS officer by the Congress government, with the opposition BJP terming it as an "act of revenge" by the ruling party and "victimisation" of the administration.
Jitendra Shukla, a 2013 batch IPS officer, who was posted as Sukma district Superintendent of Police (SP) in December last year when the Congress government was formed in the state, was shifted to Police Headquarters (PHQ), Raipur on March 7. D S Maravi was given charge as Sukma SP.
Excise Minister Kawasi Lakhma, an MLA from Konta seat in Sukma district, had purportedly written a letter to Shukla last month seeking transfer of an inspector. However, the SP had sent a letter in response, in which he refused to transfer the inspector.
On Sunday, Shukla wrote a long emotional post on Facebook, terming his transfer as "unexpected and unwanted".
In the letter, Shukla had pointed out that it was the responsibility of the district Superintendent of Police (SP) to maintain law and order, which the SP carries out through coordination with lower police staff. He also said that it was his prerogative to decide whom to appoint for the purpose.
"It is not appropriate to intervene in the aforesaid work of the SP," he stated in the letter.
When asked about the transfer, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel told reporters on Monday that the Sukma SP had written a letter to the minister, which he was not supposed to do.
"Sukma SP had recently written a letter to the minister (Kawasi Lakha), which is outside his (officer's) jurisdiction. He should not have done this, but he did. No officer has the right to write a letter to the minister," Baghel said.
"The way the police administration is being victimised, it clearly shows the state government has been working on its agenda of vindictive politics. CM Baghel has accepted that Sukma SP was removed for directly writing a letter to state cabinet minister. It indicates that other transfers are also being carried out as a form of punishment," Kaushik said.
"It also shows that the chief minister lacks a sense of administration," Kaushik added.
Meanwhile, Congress said in a statement that the SP was removed for his "inappropriate and objectionable" reply to a senior MLA and minister of his party.
"During the 15 years of the BJP rule in the state, administrative system had completely collapsed and an administrative anarchy had prevailed.
"Public representatives were being insulted by uncontrolled bureaucrats. But the new Congress government has brought it to an end and ensured that the people of the state and public representatives should get due respect by every government employees," state Congress chief spokesperson Sushil Anand Shukla said in a statement.
"If a minister writes a letter to the SP as per the requirements of his area, then the officer should act on it. If he cannot, then he should give a reply as per the rules. The language used by the SP to reply a senior minister was inappropriate and objectionable and therefore he was removed," Shukla said.
The IPS officer was unavailable for comment.
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