Top cop ‘escorts’ Kerala CPM leaders in Gulf

via VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram - Daily Pioneer published on April 12, 2010

Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan has ordered an inquiry into reports that Inspector Tomin J Thachankery, General of Police (Kannur region), was seen escorting a team of CPI(M) leaders on a fund-raising tour of the Gulf countries. The Marxist team, headed by State party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, is touring the Gulf to raise funds for a proposed memorial for late leader EK Nayanar and other purposes though the official version is that they are there to attend some meeting of pro-CPI(M) outfits.

Achuthanandan, who was demoted from the CPI(M) Politburo last year at the height of a group war with Pinarayi, gave oral instructions to Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose to enquire about the absence of Thachankery in the State. Additional DGP (Intelligence) Sibi Mathews is I charge of the inquiry. Officials in the rank of Inspector General are normally required to report to the Chief Minister, Home Minister, DGP and the Chief Secretary when they go on leave.

Tomin Thachankery, who is known to be close to the Pinarayi-led neo-liberalist camp of the Kerala CPI(M), told the media that he was not in the Gulf but was spending holidays in Kashmir with his family. He said he had been on formal leave and that reports about his presence in the Gulf were part of the allegations being raised against him for quite some time now. Thachankery, who was also holding the charge of the Kerala Police’s Cyber Cell, said his leave was to end on Monday.

The Additional DGP would inquire whether Thachankery had gone abroad, whether he had taken the formal leave, the nature of his leave and whether he had informed the concerned authorities about the trip if he had gone abroad. The Chief Minister had instructed the DGP after he noticed the absence of the IGP when he visited Kannur the other day. Sources in the Chief Minister’s office said they had got no information regarding Thachankery’s leave or trip abroad.

Reports had appeared two days ago alleging that Thachankery was sighted with the Marxist party team in a Gulf city. But the issue became serious after former Union minister and Janata Dal (S) leader MP Veerendrakumar on Saturday raised doubts about Thachankery’s alleged presence in the Gulf along with CPI(M) leaders. “Though reports say that he had gone to the Gulf on LTC, information is that he is always with the CPI(M) team,” Veerendrakumar said. “Perhaps this is mere coincidence,” he added sarcastically, referring indirectly to the connections between the IGP and Pinarayi Vijayan.

The CPI(M) team’s gulf tour had become a controversy immediately after it had begun with allegations coming out that top party leaders had gone on a pleasure trip in Arabia after planning a nationwide “Jail Bharo” agitation against the Central Government on April 8. It was even said that general secretary Prakash Karat was unable to stop Pinarayi from undertaking the fund-raising tour at the crucial juncture. But the party leadership claimed that Pinarayi and his team had left for the Gulf with the party’s permission.

Critics allege that the CPI(M) leaders had undertaken the trip disregarding even an important agitation because they wanted to collect as much money as they could now. It was reported that they did not want to wait because this could have been their last chance to undertake such a journey while they were in power as forecasts were that the CPI(M) could suffer a massive setback in the Assembly elections in another year’s time.

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