Who reinstated tainted Kerala top cop?

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi published on July 31, 2011

Who was responsible for reinstating Kerala’s controversial IPS official Tomin J Thachankery in service after a 14-month suspension? The Centre seems to be eager to put the blame on the Congress-led Government in Kerala but Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is reiterating that he has got the Centre’s letter clearing Thachankery’s reinstatement.

Former Union Home Secretary GK Pillai told the media the other day that the Kerala Government had taken the initiative to reinstate Thachankery, against whom an NIA probe was progressing over his alleged connections with some Malayalee terror men in Qatar.

Thachankery was suspended from service in April, 2010 for touring the Gulf without the Government’s authorization. The suspension was extended twice after the NIA launched a probe against him over the alleged terror link in Qatar. He joined back in service on July 11 on the basis of a Kerala Cabinet decision to reinstate him.

“The Kerala Government had written to the Centre asking whether it had any objection to reinstating Thachankery in service. The Centre discussed the matter with the NIA which said they had not got any evidences against him and this information was handed over to the Kerala Government,” Pillai said.

Though VS Achuthanandan, who as then chief minister had issued the instruction to suspend Thachankery, questioned the Cabinet decision, Chandy claimed the Government’s action was legally valid. But the revelation by Pillai suggests that Chandy could have concealed a sensitive fact and misled the State Assembly as Achuthanandan had alleged.

Last week, Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said that the Centre had not sent any letter to the Kerala Government clearing Thachankery’s reinstatement. However, Chandy, in reply to both Pillai and Mullappally, reiterated that the Centre’s letter stating of its no-objection was still in his possession.

On May 12, a day before the announcement of the Assembly poll results in Kerala, Thachankery had written to the Centre requesting clearance for his reinstatement. Also, there were allegations that the NIA wing concerned with the probe against Thachankery was headed by some of his former colleagues.

Meanwhile, the Kochi city police have opposed issuance of a new passport to the controversial IPS official. The police told the Regional Passport Office, Kochi that they could not recommend issuance of a new passport to Thachankery as a criminal case was on against him and also the NIA was conducting an investigation against him.

The passport office will issue a notice to Thachankery to demand an explanation for concealing the fact that he was facing a criminal case. The tainted official had applied for a new passport in February last saying that the pages of his old passport had exhausted. It would also ask him to submit a fresh no-objection certificate (NOC) as he was a Government official.

The Kochi police said in the letter that Thachankery was undergoing court proceedings in a criminal case pertaining to the torture of a person in a police station lock-up in Alappuzha. The NIA was holding a probe against him over his alleged relationship with terror men though no case had been registered in this regard, the police said.

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