The transfer of the IPS officer who blew the whistle on corruption inside Karnataka’s prison department has brought in a flood of criticism for the state government, but the Siddaramaiah regime, it seems, has decided to brazen it out.
Roopa Moudgil, who was until this morning the DIG of the Prisons Department, has been shunted out to the Traffic and Road Safety section of the Karnataka police.
When reporters asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah about the transfer, he had a very flippant response.
“What should we do? We shouldn’t transfer her?” he retorted.
“She was transferred for administrative reasons,” Siddaramaiah then said, adding, “We cannot be sitting and explaining it to the press.”
The government is upset with Roopa for taking her report to the media, and for naming her senior - DG (Prisons) Satyanarayana Rao - in her allegations without attaching any evidence.
The ‘routine transfer’ excuse was not bought by anyone though.
Opposition parties are calling her transfer shameful and scary.
BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje told a TV channel, “She has been transferred very abruptly. This shows that honest officers are being targeted by the government, and dishonest people are being protected.”
Former Karnataka CM and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy asked, "When the government has appointed a former chief secretary to look into the issue, why have they been transferred at this juncture? I am surprised. This government only wants to protect the interests of illegal persons. It does not want to bring out the facts.”
While the Congress has refused to say much on the transfer, party leader Dinesh Gundu Rao spoke on the report by Roopa, saying, “The allegations are serious and the government has ordered an inquiry into it. We will look into all the aspects of the allegations."
However, the inquiry itself has been questioned by others.
Reacting to a TV channel, JD(S) leader Tanveer Ahmed questioned the investigation into Roopa’s report, which is being conducted by a retired IAS officer, Vinay Kumar.
Tanveer Ahmed said, “We can see something concrete happening only if an investigation is done by a retired judge,” Tanveer Ahmed said. “The investigation right now is going to be an eye-wash. We are not expecting anything substantial from the report right now,” he added.
On social media, several people have reacted to the transfer and expressed anger over the government’s action.
"Assault on Honest Officers Continues?" DIG Smt. Roopa exposed irregularities in B'luru prison & @INCIndia Govt gifted her with transfer.— N Ravi Kumar (@nrkbjp) July 17, 2017
Karnataka Govt shot the messenger (DIG Roopa) to avoid embarrassment?— Sureshkumar (@nimmasuresh) July 17, 2017
Dr.Roopa is unceremoniously shifted! Now you know what fate awaits to the enquiry regarding jail scam in Karnataka.— srinivas cs (@srinilawyer) July 17, 2017
The entire system is gone to the dogs, irrespective of the party symbol - palms yet need greasing. Standing by D Roopa @D_Roopa_IPS— Sanu George (@Sanu_george) July 17, 2017