Bihar IPS Officers Take Recourse to Insanity, Voluntary Retirements

�Most of my seniors and colleagues are like dead bodies�: DIG, Bihar

Bihar IPS officers try to take recourse in insanity, voluntary retirement, and long leaves�.

Seen the Bollywood blockbuster �Shool�? No. Well, read on...

A senior IPS official of the Bihar cadre pleads to be declared insane. The story is somewhat similar for a few other senior IPS officials as well. Law and order in the state is at its nadir. There are people who can bring about a constructive change for the state but they somehow do not fit the plans of the state government and are thus cooling their heels on non-cadre posts. The officers who are ready to comply with the wishes of their �Political Masters� are sitting pretty and comfortable, others are struggling against the odds.

Bihar is yet to forget the �DP Ojha� imbroglio. DP Ojha, the controversial DGP of Bihar was sacked by the state government on December 6, 2003 for criticizing Bihar�s police brass and decrying its criminal links. However, several DP Ojhas are in the making.

Police officials seem to fit as appropriate victims of bias, who either opt for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) out of frustration, or go on long leaves. These are some of the ploys used by the officials to escape the anarchy prevailing in the state. The point of Achilles heel comes to light with the example of an official�s request to be declared insane.

Ajay Kumar Verma, a 1985 batch IPS officer of Bihar Cadre, requested the government to declare him insane. Verma is currently posted as Deputy Inspector General (Crime Record Bureau). In a letter addressed to IG (Police Headquarters), Neelmani, on 30th September 2004, Verma has implored to be declared insane. His action has come in the wake of frustrations relating a series of departmental harassments.

Verma is considered to be an upright officer and thus has to undergo the jitters of being posted at a �low profile� place. As SP (Vigilance) he made it to the headlines when he unearthed a scam regarding the appointment of lecturers. In another case, criminal cognizance was taken against five top IAS officials on Verma�s investigation.

It is interesting yet appalling to note here that Verma was not paid his salary for four years at a stretch, starting from June 1, 1998 to March 2002. And in such trying times no one came to his rescue�neither the IPS association nor his fellow-mates. He was able to procure his salary only when he appealed to the High Court.

Verma threw a challenge of sorts to the state government, claiming he would make Patna a crime free city on the lines of a metropolis, if posted as the Commissioner of Police. He said about 95 per cent of his fellow officers were useless and were not in a capacity to perform. �Most of them are yes, men, fulfilling their own goals,� he says.

Coming down heavily on his seniors and colleagues, Verma says, �My seniors and fellow officers are like a pile of dead bodies, and they are worthless, insensitive and incapable. Most of the brilliant officers are cooling their heels on non-cadre posts. When they can�t help their own cause, how are they supposed to work for the society? Even the Director General of Police Narayan Mishra is not worth his chair. Till officers like Mishra continue to don the mantle of police chief in the state, no good can be expected.�

But, senior IPS officer Arvind Pandey, who is also the secretary of Bihar IPS Association, calls Verma�s statements as his personal opinion and refuses to endorse it. According to him, �Verma�s statements are highly uncalled for. It is only the greatness and wholeheartedness of the state government for which he is able to speak and write so much against the establishment.� He stresses, �However, some of the steps taken by Verma are really laudable. But many people are working and performing well. IPS officers are no dead bodies, it is sad that someone considers them as dead bodies.�

In his letter, Verma has accused the government of violating rules by posting a chosen few on lucrative posts. He says, �Some IPS officers are posted at places where they hardly have anything to work, and on the other hand some are manning three cadre posts at a time, which is in gross violation of the rules.� The officer also cited the example of Ashok Kumar Gupta, who is controlling three cadre posts at a time. Gupta is simultaneously IG (CID), IG (Special Branch) and ADG (CID). On the other hand, brilliant officers like MK Sinha and Manoj Nath are posted at places, which hardly needs officers of their caliber and rank, says he.

Once again the secretary of the IPS association comes to the rescue of the government and says, �It is the prerogative of the government to post any officer. No one should give an extreme statement.�

Some IPS officers including Verma have demanded for a �Property Declaration Act� to be introduced. Under the demand they want all officers who are legible to move on election duty should declare their assets in public, along the same lines as politicians. Arvind Pandey welcomes this move of Verma and says, �I am all for such an act, it is a must to curb corruption. But accusing the government of partisan attitude is not fair. In fact some people hanker for �plum� postings and blame government for not getting the same.�

Another senior IPS, Rituraj�s sufferings are similar. He has sought voluntary retirement from services with effect from February 1, 2005. Rituraj belongs to the 1983 batch, and has a long career ahead�alas he is not prepared to serve! His future plans�opening a computer institute and a non-formal school at his native place in Nalanda. Rituraj was in the limelight when he took on the controversial RJD MP Shahabuddin.

However, when contacted, the IPS officer chose to play safe and said, �I have applied for VRS and the reason is extremely personal.� He adds, �There is nothing like politico-police-criminal nexus or political pressure in the state and everything is going well.�

Ajit Joy seems to be another disgruntled IPS officer of the state cadre. He was the Inquiry Officer in a case against the Chief Secretary KAH Subramaniam, Deepak Singh, IG (Prisons) and Rameshwar Singh, a senior IAS officer. According to some sources from the Police Headquarters, he was allegedly forced by these IAS officials to submit a report according to their wishes. He was even promised some �sops�. But due to the immense pressure, he underwent severe mental trauma and stress. He moved out on a six-month leave out of desperation, with effect from October 1, 2004�few days after he submitted the report. He is said to be looking for another career alternative.

Another IPS has found a novel way to ease out his �joblessness�. An officer of the rank of IG, Abhyanand, is presently a coaching instructor for IIT entrance examination and is a hot cake in the market. He has found his calling in the teaching profession and it seems he is more a teacher than an IPS.

But the movers and shakers of the state should not forget the day when a minister of the Rabri cabinet was roughed up by a group of audience during a public show for making undemocratic remarks on DP Ojha. On December 6, 2003�the day Ojha was sacked, the Excise Minister of the Rabri cabinet, Shivanand Tiwari was attacked by a mob at a book fair in Patna after he allegedly made some uncharitable remarks about ousted DGP DP Ojha. The mob started throwing slippers and brickbats, and chased Tiwari who was hurriedly escorted by his security men to a safer place. This was the first incident of its kind where the masses challenged the might of the �power house� of the state. The incident strongly indicates a public outburst in the offing, if things continue to get worse.

Ironically, the RJD Chief and better half of the former Chief Minister of Bihar said that the government has decided to initiate a departmental proceeding against Ojha; following a letter from the CBI that Ojha suppressed the investigation into the fodder scam as Additional Director General (Vigilance). RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is himself an accused in the fodder scam. It is tough to comprehend what were Ojha�s interests in the fodder scam or why he suppressed the investigations or for that matter whether his superiors pressurized him?

The masters of the state need to hear the ringing bells; they are the awakening alarm for a greater alarm that might befall them. They need to pull up their socks and act fast. Time and credibility are becoming a thing of past.

The film Shool is based along similar lines of government officials being harassed to no end for the ulterior motives of politicians. Well, while one may wonder, whether Shool was real turned reel life adoption, the bare all is, it is the truth and does truth hurt? In this case, yes it does. So, let us wake up and change the denouement of the scene and act with indomitable energy to protect a civilization from lowly dust and infinite gloom.   


More by :  Arunoday Prakash

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