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Vigilance glare on former cop

- Adivasi Mandal writes to Odisha govt for action

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 4: Corruption charges have been levelled against former director-general of the state vigilance and the Odisha Public Service Commission member Anup Patnaik.

The Adivasi Mandal, a social organisation, has charged the retired IPS officer of amassing wealth with the help of one of his former colleagues. The state government has forwarded the letter to the state vigilance for action.

What has surprised the official circles is the way in which the state government has entertained the complaint and forwarded it to the vigilance department.

“It could be the fall out of the tussle between the IAS and IPS lobbies in the state,” said an officer.

Patnaik, a 1977-batch police officer, known for his honesty and integrity, was rewarded by the state government and made a member of the state’s public service commission after his retirement in February 2012. Patnaik was a recipient of the President’s Police Medal for meritorious service in 1994 and distinguished service in 2002.

The association has alleged that the former director-general, vigilance, Patnaik, had amassed wealth through his former junior colleague, Debadutta Patnaik. According to the allegations, while Patnaik has constructed multi-storey buildings at Pallaspalli, IRC village and in Delhi, his colleague Debadutta Patnaik also constructed buildings at Berhampur and Nayapalli.

The former police official was in the news for the past three years after the mining scam had rocked the state in 2009. He was heading the vigilance inquiry. The state vigilance had lodged a number of cases against a few influential persons.

The government has also forwarded an anonymous complaint against Debadutta Patnaik that he had made money while inquiring into the mining scam. “His activities have not only complicated the course of investigation, but also influenced its process,” the petitioner said. The former director-general said: “Some people with vested interests must have done it. I will face the inquiry. Before making allegations and ordering for an inquiry, one should know the credentials of an officer.”

Stating that he had houses in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, he said: “One should know how much loan one has taken to build the house. I am not scared of an inquiry. However, I am disheartened the way attempt has been made to tarnish my image.”

Debadutta Patnaik told The Telegraph: “In a democratic country, one can bring allegations against anyone. Allegations have come against even prime ministers. I am not taking this to heart. Let the inquiry start, I will face it like a true policeman.”