The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shunted for calling Antony ‘shorty’

Thiruvananthapuram, April 21: A Kerala police officer who referred to defence minister A.K. Antony as “shorty” on the wireless has been transferred and could be further disciplined.

Circle inspector Jeevanand made the remark while on VIP duty during Antony’s recent visit to his home district of Alappuzha. Asked by a colleague when he might be returning to the police station, Jeevanand had replied: “Let that kullan (shorty) pass by.”

The remark was heard by other policemen listening on the same frequency. Higher-ups who came to know of the “disrespectful” reference called for a report from the Alappuzha police chief, P.E. Jeyaraj.

The message had been recorded at the audio capture unit of the city police control room and an investigation revealed who the speaker was.

Jeyaraj said the inspector has been shifted to an insignificant post. Further action is likely but should come from a higher level, he said.

It’s an open secret in police circles, though, that a senior officer invariably used the word to refer to Antony when the Congress leader was Kerala chief minister. The officer, who was from outside the state, had created much rancour among Keralite officers, especially by his derisive tone.

Sources said the circle inspector, who seemed to have used the word rather casually, may have been influenced by the senior officer’s habit.

Policemen in their private conversations often use the choicest epithets while referring to or commenting on those in authority, including their own officers.

In this instance, if the tone is found to be casual and not abusive, it might reduce the severity of the punishment.

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