news Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 05:30
Photo Courtesy : Rashtra Deepika   One of Kerala's most celebrated IPS officers, Rishiraj Singh, with a long history of being bold and controversial, seems to have ruffled feathers yet again leading to a political face-off between the Left and the Congress in Kerala, with even Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala having to take a step back and not escalate matters further.   Several voices and opposition parties in Kerala have taken issue with the sudden transfer of Singh from his post as the vigilance chief of the state electricity board to the armed police force division. It was alleged that the transfer was at the behest of an influential businessman. Following the transfer mired in controversy, a photograph doing the rounds showing the IPS officer sitting and seemingly ignoring the Home Minister while other police officers salute the minister has further added fuel to the fire.   The Home Minister has denied all allegations. In a Facebook post, he wrote, “All the allegations are false. Rishiraj Singh had informed DGP that he want to go back to the armed force. So we transferred him on the basis of his request. He is a sincere and responsible officer. Rumours related to police parade function is also false.  After the event he had contacted me over phone and had explained his reasons. All these are fake news, just think is it fair to cook up stories,” he wrote.   Singh too has dismissed the controversy surrounding the picture. "These controversies are created because you are not aware of the protocol, you should stand up only when the national anthem is played. No where in the protocol is it mentioned that I have to get up when VIPs arrive," he told reporters.   This is, however, not Singh's first brush with controversy. A real-life version of film-reel police heroes, his good looks and enviable style have only added to the aura around him. Rishiraj Singh is one IPS officer in Kerala with a popular fan-base who call him the 'lion in the force’.   Singh first shot to fame in 2006 when he cracked down on the pirated-CD mafia with major raids and arrests, in which many prominent persons were involved.  The very next year, his Munnar operation against land mafia also got nationwide attention.  He was then transferred to the Centre.   Later he came back to Kerala as the vigilance-head of the transport authority, and he was credited for the transformation in the department and reduction in number of accidents involving state-buses. He also reportedly took immediate action on corruption cases, and was then transferred to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) as the vigilance chief.   As the Chief Vigilance Commissioner in KSEB he collected a fine of Rs 35 crore and unearthed more than 900 electricity thefts in a short span. He also encouraged people to sound an alarm if they encounter electricity theft. He has since been transferred again, to the state armed police division.   The alleged reason for his sudden transfer from the vigilance wing of the KSEB is that he detected a huge power theft by business tycoons of the Muthoot group in the capital city. Reports suggest that Singh was all set to arrest the firm’s Managing Director when he suddenly received a transfer to the armed battalion.   The Kerala government has been criticized severely on social media for the transfer. Many prominent people have come in support of Singh, including Opposition leader VS Achutanandan who strongly protested against his transfer.   “Singh has initiated some action against those who were close to the UDF leaders and Chief Minister. That is why he has been transferred without even completing one year in the KSEB,” Achutanandan told media in Thiruvananthapuram.   Prominent businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly has also protested against the transfers and supported the officer. “Rishiraj Singh is an officer who has proved his caliber, sincerity and fearless dedication to duty in whichever posts he worked. His contribution to the MVD and Electricity departments is laudable. He has fearlessly unearthed many frauds and saved the face and critical financial situation of electricity board. If people of Kerala doubt foul play behind his recent transfer of duty, it is justifiable!” he wrote in his recent Facebook post.

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