In the aftermath of a report submitted to Karnataka DGP by DIG (Prisons) D. Roopa alleging irregularities in the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru, the State government on Monday transferred the whistle blower officer Bengaluru Deputy Inspector General (DIG Prison) D Roopa,out of the Prisons Department to the post of DIG, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, Bengaluru.
DGP (Prisons) HN Sathyanarayana Rao and his deputy DIG Roopa vacated their office on Tuesday after they were transferred after the later leaked reports of special treatment being given to AIADMK leader VK Sasikala.
Sasikala Natarajan, is an Indian businessperson and politician who was the interim general secretary of AIADMK (Amma) during 2016-2017. She was a close aide of J.Jayalalithaa,the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,who headed AIADMK from 1989 until her death in 2016. After Jayalalithaa’s death, the party’s general council unanimously appointed her as the interim secretary general of AIADMK.
She was arrested along with Jayalalithaa on 7 December 1996 and was remanded to judicial custody for 30 days in connection with the Colour TV scam .During Jayalalithaa’s three tenures as Chief Minister, Sasikala was alleged to have laundered huge amounts of wealth amassed by Jayalalitha. On 14 February 2017, a two-bench Supreme Court jury pronounced her guilty and ordered her immediate arrest in a disproportionate-assets case, effectively ending her Chief Ministerial ambitions.
Sasikala who was supposed to be housed as a common inmate at the Bengaluru Central Jail, has been continuing with her queen-sized lifestyle behind the bars.
Days after her expose on special privileges to confidant of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, DIG Roopa has come out in defence of her report. “I stand by my report and there is evidence,” she said.According to the report filed by DIG (prisons) D Roopa, Sasikala who is the prisoner number 9234, has as many as five cells in the prison to herself.
The report revealed that Sasikala had access to a separate kitchen, comfortable bedding and a flat screen TV. Most shocking of all is that Sasikala has an exclusive conference room with a table and revolving chair in the prison. The conference room is where Sasikala meets her visitors.
The report by DIG Roopa stated that Sasikala met nearly 81 visitors in the last 117 days, while according to the rules only one visitor is allowed in a fortnight. Most of the visitors arrived after the visiting hours are over.
In a report last week to the Karnataka government based on her inspection of the central jail, Ms Roopa had alleged that Ms Sasikala enjoys an exclusive kitchen and other facilities. Her report referred to “speculation” that Ms Sasikala,jailed for corruption, had paid 2 crores for special treatment and Mr Rao could have been a beneficiary. The state government ordered an inquiry.
DGP (Prisons) HN Sathyanarayana Rao is due to retire in the month end and he has been asked to go on a forced leave. Which means he would retire without a post. He might not even receive a farewell parade.
In another significant development, State intelligence chief M.N. Reddi has also been shunted out in less than four months after he took charge of the key position. The sources said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was unhappy with the ”mishandling” of law and order situation in Dakshina Kannada district, apart from how the prison row went out of hand, embarrassing the government. Mr. Reddi has been posted as DGP, ACB.
Roopa was also served notice by the state government asking her to explain why she reported the issue to the media.
Commenting on the matter, Siddaramaiah had said: “I have issued a notice to Roopa for her repeated appearance before the media in violation of service rules. I have ordered a high-level inquiry into the allegations and will take action once the committee submits its report.”
“I welcome the reporting of corruption in the system, but Roopa is going to the media before raising it in the police department. It’s not fair.”
“It is absolutely against the rule book,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, expressing open displeasure over public comments by the Deputy Inspector of General (Prisons) in her report, which has also brought her superior and other prison officials under a cloud of bribery allegations.