Thodupuzha: The affinity of former Idukki district police chief K B Venugopal to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is well known, but not many know that he had acted with vengeance against cops who toed a different political line. As many as 128 cops of the Idukki district police force were suspended over two years during his tenure in a likely bid to please his political masters.
Venugopal had ordered for the suspension of police personnel who were not supporters of the ruling CPM, it is alleged. Adverse reports were also filed against several cops during his tenure with malafide intention.
It has also come to light that cops who supported the opposition parties were specifically picked and reprimanded by him.
The former Idukki Superintendent of Police transferred cops at will as per the list given by CPM leaders, it is said.
Giving more credence to the allegations that Venugopal had reportedly acted in tandem with the local leadership of the in the hill district, it is widely said he tried to frame a Congress activist in a recent murder case. As reported earlier Venugopal had allegedly hatched a conspiracy in connivance with some CPM activists to frame a local Congress leader in the murder case. However, the plan failed as a court in Thodupuzha granted anticipatory bail to the Congress activist, Sibi.
All members of an investigative team were suspended, alleging that they had leaked the photo of the accused in a murder case to the media. After the issue snowballed into a controversy, the senior officers intervened and the suspension was revoked in seven days.
Cops, who had to face action after the report was filed, would stand to lose out on even the annual pay rise.
If any dereliction of duty was noticed, Venugopal would reportedly order for a probe. Even if the report submitted by the senior officers gave the cops a clean chit, complaints alleged that the district police chief would return the file. He would then insist on submitting a file that dubbed them as accused.
The police officer has not reacted to the charges. Onmanorama is yet to get the police reaction to the charges.
It is said the official email id of the former police chief was handed by another officer. The Crime Branch is yet to question this officer over the custodial death of Raj Kumar. This officer was aware that Kumar was kept in custody, it was hinted.
Venugopal was transferred last monh over the custodial death case as Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a stern stance. Minister M M Mani was not keen on transferring him, it was reported earlier. However, after the CM took a stern stand, Mani had to give in.
Venugopal was recently transferred from the post over his role in the recent Nedumkandam custodial death case.
As reported earlier, the Idukki district has had five police chiefs in the last five years. Anwaruddin Sahib was in given the charge in 2014, K V Joseph during 2015-16, A V George in 2017, followed by K B Venugopal.
Anwaruddin Sahib was in the top post for merely three months. He was succeeded by K V Joseph. After the Left Democratic Front came into power in the state, the A V George became the district police chief. He was then made the Aluva rural SP. After the ‘High-range Spiders’ squad formed during his tenure was blamed for taking bribe from an accused in a drug case, George was shunted out and Venugopal was given the charge. As Kumar's custody death rattled the force, Venugopal too was shown the door.
Narayanan, who was the Malappuram SP, is the new district police chief.