The Karnataka Government has flippantly claimed that the transfer of IPS Officer Roopa Moudgil who was DIG (Prisons) to the Road Safety and Traffic Department is just routine. But the move which comes days after she alleged that AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala is getting undue favours in the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, has left parties in Tamil Nadu in a lurch.
The transfer comes just two days after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah issued notices to both DIG Roopa Moudgil, and the officer that she has been involved in a very public spat with – DG (Prisons) Satyanarayana Rao. Last week, DIG Roopa Moudgil had submitted a report to the DGP which claimed that Sasikala had bribed prison officials with Rs 2 crore and was getting special treatment in return. The Chief Minister had slammed both the DG and the DIG for the leaking of Roopa’s report to the media.
Leading the muted 'controversy' charge is the O Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK, which is certain political power and exchange of money has fuelled this decision. "The Congress Government has ordered a probe but instead of suspending the DG(Prisons) who allegedly took the bribe, they have suspended the whistleblower," says AIADMK MP V. Maitreyan. "There is clearly a political motive behind the transfer. What this requires now is an investigation which is impartial and cannot be influenced by the state government," he adds.
The Tamil Nadu Congress however, dismissed the charge and proceeded to defend Chief Minister Siddaramiah. "We appreciate Roopa for fighting corruption. This by no means a punishment posting," says Congress spokesperson S. Jothimani. "She has been shifted to ensure a free and fair probe into the matter," she claims.
While the spokesperson from the Edappadi Palanisami camp declined to comment on the matter, an MLA from what is now being seen as the TTV Dhinakaran faction told The News Minute that this was a matter that only the Karnataka Government can comment on.
Even the DMK, which recently hobnobbed with Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Chennai, chose to remain silent on the matter which would have otherwise been fodder for a scathing attack. "It is not just Sasikala that the DIG has written about. There are also other prisoners receiving benefits as well," says DMK spokesperson A Saravanan. "It is a decision taken by the Karnataka Government and only they can comment on it," he adds.
When reporters asked Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah about the transfer, he had a very nonchalant 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.”