The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Officer shunted for exposé

Ranchi, Sept. 1: Argora police station officer-in-charge Sanjay Kumar has paid the price for taking the wraps off a criminal’s escape from custody on August 9.

Kumar received his marching orders after he went on record in The Telegraph on August 14, saying that four of the seven constables at the police station not only defied his instruction to disperse the mob that had surrounded the police station to free criminal Bali Sahu, but also threatened to fire back on the police if they did not release the man.

Kumar has been shunted to the police lines.

On August 14, The Telegraph had reported: “Transfer seems imminent for the official, who went on record saying the criminal escaped from custody on August 9 because of ‘non-cooperation of his sub-ordinates’.”

Ruling out Kumar’s revelation as the reason for his shift, Ranchi senior superintendent of police Neeraj Sinha said: “He was transferred owing to his lackadaisical handling of cases. During his two-and-a-half months’ tenure at Argora police station, some 18 criminal incidents took place. Even the local people complained of his inactivity.”

But police sources said Kumar has been moved out for calling a spade a spade. Earlier, he was posted at Mandar police station for two years.

“The then city police superintendent Sampat Meena had assured me that she would call me back to the city. But I got my posting at Argora after she was transferred to special branch. I know I will not continue as Argora officer-in-charge for long, as I am not in the habit of succumbing to pressure from any quarters,” Kumar had told The Telegraph.

“Keeping me at a city police station or a rural outpost or shunting me to the lines makes no difference to me. I do not have any temptation for a ‘lucrative’ police station. Those who have certain temptations hesitate in speaking out. Why should I' I want to work and I can work anywhere,” Kumar said.

Asked about the transfer, police sources, who cited the rising crime in his area as the reason, also admitted that his disclosure of the constables’ rebellion played a role.

Sources at Argora police station said Kumar was an upright and hardworking police officer. After his subordinates mapped Bali’s escape route, a disappointed Kumar had vented his anguish: “How can a police official rely on his men in launching a combing operation to nab a criminal when such black sheep are part of the team' They can betray their officer and get them trapped in the criminal’s net.”

He had said he was no more enthusiastic in launching another operation to arrest Bali whom he had caught with difficulty.

Acting on a tip-off, the police had arrested Bali when he was visiting a woman’s house at Argora on August 9. A petty gangster still traceless, Bali had gravitated towards pro-domicile politics when the controversy was at its peak, a police officer said.

The criminal had resorted to arson on July 24 to expand his ambit of operation.

Citing Kumar’s fate, a compatriot said: “This is why a police officer does not take stringent steps in turning his area into a crime-free zone. No sooner than his actions start bearing fruit, he becomes an eyesore for the bigwigs.”

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