‘Regret making Senkumar DGP’: Ramesh Chennithala as former top cop inches closer to BJP

TP Senkumar was appointed as the State Police Chief in 2015 when Chennithala was the Home Minister.
‘Regret making Senkumar DGP’: Ramesh Chennithala as former top cop inches closer to BJP
‘Regret making Senkumar DGP’: Ramesh Chennithala as former top cop inches closer to BJP
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Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said he regrets his decision to appoint TP Senkumar as DGP when he was the Home Minister of the state.

"It was a big mistake. I had bypassed seniority to make Senkumar police chief to favour a Malayali officer. Mahesh Kumar Singla was the senior most officer then. He was bypassed to give the post to Senkumar since we preferred a Malayali officer as DGP in charge of law and order,” Chennithala told reporters on Wednesday.

Senkumar was appointed as the DGP Law and Order on May 31, 2015. At that time Ramesh Chennithala was the Home Minister in the Congress government led by Oommen Chandy.

Senkumar retired as the State Police Chief on June 30, 2017. He had a fought a legal battle with the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, who fired him from the post immediately after coming to power in May 2016.

Since his retirement Senkumar has expressed his political affinity to the BJP and has moved closer to the party. In August 2017, Senkumar was arrested for allegedly making communal statements.  He had alleged hat some members of the Muslim community had practiced ‘love jihad’, a euphemism used by the Hindu right for real or imagined romantic relationships between Hindu women and Muslim men. In an interview to a Malayalam magazine in August 2017 he had also allegedly made inflammatory statements on the growth of the Muslim population in the state vis-a-vis Hindus.

On January 7, the North Paravur police registered a case against Senkumar on a petition lodged by the DYFI allegedly for his unsavoury and demeaning comments against the girl students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi.
"We are now facing repercussions of making him the DGP of the state," Chennithala said.

Mahesh Kumar Singla was on central deputation at the time when Senkumar was made DGP. Singla was BSF Additional Director then and was the senior-most in the Kerala cadre. He, however, had also expressed interest to be back in Kerala.

The Pinarayi government had removed Senkumar from the post contending that there were lapses in the handling the 2016 Puttingal firework disaster and the rape and murder of a law student from Perumbavoor when he was the police chief. He was replaced by Loknath Behera, who is the current police chief.

Senkumar moved the Supreme Court against the government move.

On April 24, 2017, the Supreme Court said that Kerala government's decision to remove Senkumar from the post of DGP for poor performance was arbitrary and unfair, directing to reinstate him. The government reinstated Senkumar to the post on May 6. He, however, retired in June 2017.

Chennithala had lashed out at the LDF government for sacking Senkumar from the post.  

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