Three senior police officers, including inspector-general (IG) Amit Kumar, have earned the wrath of the Union home ministry for their delay in submitting report on the alleged link of state minority welfare minister Shahid Ali Khan with the people working for Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.
The home department issued notices to three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers on Wednesday, asking them to explain as to why the report on the allegations against Khan, who originally hails from Sitamarhi in north Bihar, was not sent to the government.
The police headquarters had received a communiqué from the Union home ministry early this year, asking the former to conduct an in-depth investigation into the allegations against the minister in question, saying that he was allegedly close to the people working for terror outfits and Pakistan’s spying agency ISI.
The directive came on the basis of intelligence inputs submitted to the Union home ministry by the Sashastra Seema Bal, which has been deployed to guard the porous India-Nepal border in Bihar. The police headquarters assigned the task to the IG (operations) Amit Kumar, who also heads the state’s special task force (STF).
Sources in the police headquarters said while deputy inspector-general (STF) Umashankar Sundhanshu was assigned to monitor the investigation, Sitamarhi superintendent of police (SP) P.K. Sinha was directed to probe the allegations. The copy of the letter sent to the Union home ministry by the SSB was also provided to the SP concerned.
Sources said East Champaran superintendent of police Vinay Kumar was asked to do the same exercise and co-operate with his counterpart in Sitamarhi, if required. Zamil Akhtar and Manzoor Sai, whose names figured in the letter, were quizzed by the senior police officials. However, no substantial evidence was found against them. The two suspects later appeared before the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, in Patna and pleaded their innocence.
The SPs concerned submitted their preliminary investigation reports to the STF headquarters, which reportedly kept the matter under wraps for over a month. The matter, however, leaked to the media, which highlighted the alleged links of the minister with those involved in anti-national activities.
When the minister learnt about the SSB’s inputs, he denied the allegations and demanded a thorough investigation. The home department was asked by Nitish to look into the matter. Subsequently, the principal secretary of home department Amir Subhani ordered an investigation.
When contacted, Subhani refused to make any comment. A senior officer, however, said the home department was surprised to know that the police headquarters neither took up the matter with the SSB top brass after findings gave a clean chit to the minister, nor shared the findings with the home department officials.
The officer said the home department would take a decision about any disciplinary action after the officers sent their replies. “We expect to get response from the officers soon,” he added.