In November, S Sreejith, who headed the controversial Palathayi child abuse case, was removed from the investigation team after an order of the Kerala High Court.

Crime branch chief S Sreejith
news Police Friday, January 01, 2021 - 10:33

In a major reshuffle in the Kerala Police, IPS officer S Sreejith has been elevated as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), and was appointed as the Crime Branch chief. Sudheesh Kumar who was raised to (Director General of Police) DGP rank, will head the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. ADGP B Sandhya, will head the Fire and Rescue Services, replacing retired department chief R Sreelekha, Mathrubhumi News reported.

In November this year, S Sreejith, who headed the investigation into the controversial Palathayi child abuse case, was removed from the team after an order of the Kerala High Court. The case pertains to alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl from Kannur, allegedly by her school teacher (K Padmakumar), who is also a local BJP leader.

After the case was taken over by the Crime Branch from local police, charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 were dropped against the accused. Many activists had staged protests, asking that the officer be removed from the investigation team, after an audio clip, purportedly of S Sreejith, did the rounds on social media where he could be heard speaking about the case to another person over the phone.

The child’s mother had moved HC, seeking to form a new investigation team.

Read: Palathayi child abuse case: IG Sreejith replaced, new SIT begins probe

Meanwhile, in another key reshuffling, Kochi City Police Commissioner Vijay Sakhare is the ADGP (Law and Order) while CH Nagaraju, who was elevated as Inspector General (IG), replaced him as Kochi Commissioner.

Yogesh Gupta ADGP, who reportedly returned to the state after central deputation, is appointed as the Managing Director of Kerala State Beverages Corporation. The earlier Bevco chief G Sparjan Kumar has been appointed as IG (Crimes). Shaik Darvesh Sahib, ADGP will head the Kerala Police Academy, as its director. ADGP Anil Kant will be the new Road Safety Commissioner.

Read: Kerala’s first female DGP, Sreelekha IPS retires after 33 years in service

Many district police chiefs have also been reshuffled. The post of Pathanamthitta District Police Chief which fell vacant after the retirement of KG Simon, will be replaced by Rajeev PB. KG Simon was the investigation officer who headed the infamous Koodathayi serial murder case probe, where a Kozhikode resident woman is alleged to have killed six family members between 2002 and 2016. Rajeev was the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Kochi. Aishwarya Dongre will be the new DCP of Kochi.

As per a Times of India report, Kannur district police chief Yathish Chandra was appointed as commandant of KAP-4 battalion in Kannur. Navneet Sharma, commandant of India Reserve battalion, will become the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Kannur Rural Police. The earlier SP of Kannur R Illango will be the SP of Kannur City Police. KB Ravi, who was the SP in the state special branch will be the new Kollam rural police chief. Sujith Das will be the new Palakkad district police chief. SP Tomy Sebastain (crimes) has been given additional charge of Additional Inspector General of Coastal Police.

Watch video: Koodathayi case, decoding the deaths that shook Kerala

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