In what could be seen as a political signal from the Edappadi Palanisamy-led government in Tamil Nadu, former state police intelligence chief KN Sathiyamurthy, an Inspector General rank officer who was on compulsory wait, has been appointed back as the IG, Intelligence, a post which was lying vacant since February.
In a press release, Additional Chief Secretary Niranjan Mardi ordered that Sathiyamurthy take charge of the post with immediate effect.
The post of the chief of police intelligence has always been seen as an appointment with significant political overtones. Chief Ministers, especially in Tamil Nadu, are believed to be appoint intelligence chiefs who are trustworthy and loyal to the ruling dispensation.
In the past few months, there has been a musical-chair game of sorts with the post of IG Intelligence.
On February 23, just ten days after S Davidson Devasirvatham was appointed as IG, Intelligence, the Edappadi K Palaniswamy-led Tamil Nadu government shunted out the senior officer from the intelligence department to the Welfare department. The post was left vacant. Prior to his appointment as IG Intelligence on February 13, Davidson was serving as the IG Welfare. Davidson was seen as a trusted appointee of the OPS-led government.
Just about a week before that, as there were rumours that Sasikala was readying to take over, KN Sathiyamurthy, who was then the IG Intelligence, was asked to go on leave by the OPS-led government, leaving the post vacant.
Sathiyamurthy’s return is seen by many political watchers as a one-up for the Sasikala family.