Free Press Journal

Whistle-blower Roopa punished by State government

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Karnataka’s DIG (Prisons) D. Roopa who stuck her neck out and alleged that ‘preferential’ treatment was being given to AIADMK’s general secretary V.K. Sasikala and Abdul Karim Telgi, a convicted big time fraudster, in Bengaluru Central Jail, has faced the wrath of the State government. As it has happened in the past with many who have shown the courage and tenacity to take on the establishment in a system that is corrupt and decadent to the core, Roopa has been transferred to a position in the traffic wing of the police. For the record, the Karnataka government has said that this is not a ‘punishment posting’ but a routine transfer, but nobody who is familiar with the Indian dispensation would believe this to be a true claim. Clearly, the courageous IPS officer is being hounded for spilling the beans on the goings-on in the State’s biggest and most prestigious jail.

The DIG had submitted a report to her seniors last week in which she had alleged that Sasikala, convicted in a corruption case, was receiving VIP treatment, including a special kitchen counter. She had alleged that Sasikala had paid a hefty bribe of Rs 2 crore to jail officials for the special treatment and had hinted that her boss, DGP (Prisons) HSN Rao may have been one of the recipients of the bribe though this charge was not supported by concrete evidence. Her report had led Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to order a high-level inquiry. While HSN Rao had denied the charges, Roopa had stood her ground.

In a second report that DIG Roopa had submitted, she had alleged that the video evidence against both Sasikala and Telgi had been destroyed to weaken her case against them. Evidently, by transferring her out and not waiting for the outcome of the inquiry, the Siddaramaiah government has exposed itself to the charge that it is shielding the corrupt by covering up their misdeeds. The Chief Minister must realise that his indefensible act has dented his credibility in an election year.