news Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 05:30
Two days after the Central Investigation Department (CID) submitted an interim report on the illegal lottery racket scam, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has suspended Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Alok Kumar for being named in the report and prohibiting a government official from discharging his duties. The IPS officer has been suspended under All-India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969. "The accused Sri Pari Rajan alias Rajan during CID investigation has revealed that on the basis of his acquaintance with Sri Alok Kumar, IPS, he sought assistance when he was in trouble with the Police", was one of the reasons cited in the suspension letter of Alok Kumar. Suspension letter of ACP Alok Kumar According to a report in the Bangalore Mirror, Kumar had allegedly called Sub-Inspector Prakash and tried to stall the arrest of the prime accused in the case Pari Rajan.  After CID took charge of the case, it ordered for Call Record Details (CRD) of Rajan who claimed he was in touch with many senior ranking officers in the Karnataka Police department. On examining the records, the CID noted that over 151 calls were exchanged between Rajan and Alok Kumar which caught their attention. The chief minister had earlier suspended SP (Lottery Squad) Dharanesh for failing to curb the racket. He reportedly told the officials that inquiry and action must be taken even against those officials who had received "only a few calls." ''Whoever was in touch with him (Pari Rajan) should be examined,'' he was quoted as saying by the paper. The CID has in its report also recommended departmental enquiry against Kumar which the state government had heeded to. A senior IAS officer or a retired judge would be heading it, added the report. In one newspaper report, it has been said that "at least six police officers, including four serving, have been named in the interim report". According to a report in The Hindu, Rajan may not be the real "kingpin" behind the scam. During his interrogation by CID officials, Rajan reportedly referred to one "Michael" who seemed to have controlled the entire business. The investigating officers are probing to find out the real identity of "Michael" and believe that the lottery racket may have its tentacles extending to other states. “The single-digit lottery in the State after the ban on lottery here is based on the lottery draw in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The kingpin should have access to the lottery sector in these States. We are looking into the issue,” an official was quoted by the paper. In another The Times of India report, investigators claimed that the lottery tickets were printed in Maharashtra and lotteries were drawn in Mumbai every evening. The winning numbers were texted to agents who were spread across the state. Though the CID sleuths have not estimated the money involved in the racket, one officer reportedly said that it could be a multi-crore scam. "The tickets cost anywhere between Rs 5 and Rs 5 lakh. Returns were as high as 20 times besides the bumper prize. The agents' associates would hand over the prize money personally to the winners,"  a CID officer told the paper. In the wake of the scam, JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy has accused the chief minister and Home Minister K J George of shielding the corrupt police officials and has asked Governor Vajubhai Vala to take cognisance of the CID interim report and dismiss the State government for their failure in tackling the menace. "Chief Minsiter’s relative Chandrakanth, who is superintendent of police (northern range) in the lottery wing, is involved in the scam. Due to differences between police officers over sharing money, the scam has come to light," he was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle. He has alleged that former DGP Shankar Bidari had close connection with Rajan and they met regularly. Meanwhile, Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi has handed over the suspended officer Alok Kumar’s duties to Additional Commissioner (Administration) BNS Reddy.
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