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Race for Kerala Police chief turns murky

Wednesday,16 June 2021 11:46 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram, June 16

 With just two weeks left for a new Kerala Police chief to take over and the name yet to be decided, things appeared to have turned murky after a complaint against one of the front runners to the coveted post proved to be fake.

Incumbent state police chief (SPC) Loknath Behera is to superannuate on June 30 and before that his successor has to be named. This has to be done by the Pinarayi Vijayan government from a three-member list which has to come from the UPSC.

According to sources, ranked first in the list is Arun Kumar Sinha, presently heading the SPG in Delhi. Other names doing the rounds are of Tomin J. Thachenkery, who is posted in the Kerala State Human Rights Commission and then Sudheesh Kumar, the head of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, here.

Sinha is most unlikely to return to Kerala and hence Thachenkery, who is regarded as the close confidant of Vijayan, was all set to get the post, but then a complaint against him by a Kochi resident to the UPSC has set the cat among the pigeons.

However, a probe by the authorities has found the complaint to be fake and the complainant is understood to have died five years ago.

Irked by this, Thachenkery has now approached the higher ups to probe the false complaint and urged them to take appropriate action as he feels that 'this was the handiwork of his detractors in the force, who are against him and are trying everything to prevent him from occupying the prized post'.

A source in the know of things said that as per the present set of rules, the state government sends a list of names according to the seniority to the Centre, who first makes a screening on the track record of each person and then sends back the list to the state. The state government then can choose anyone from that list.

According to the rules only those who have a minimum of two years service left can be appointed and here too Thachenkery qualifies and hence Vijayan, who will be the final decision maker, is certain to go for him as their close relationship began since the mid nineties, sources said.

 

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