The Telangana government has suspended five police officers for their alleged links with renegade Maoist-turned-gangster Nayeem, who was gunned down by police in an alleged exchange of fire last year.
Director General of Police (DGP) Anurag Sharma on Thursday issued orders suspending the officers.
Those put under suspension are Additional Superintendent of Police (CID) Maddipati Srinivas Rao, Assistant Commissioners of Police serving in Hyderabad M. Srinivas Rao and Chintamaneni Srinivas, and Circle Inspectors Ramgopal and Mastan.
Police sources said further action would be taken against the suspended officers if they were found to have income disproportionate to their known sources of income.
This is the first time that the government acted against policemen facing allegations of nexus with Nayeem and his gang. Investigations are going on against some other officials as well.
Nayeem was gunned down by police in an alleged exchange of fire on August 8 in Shadnagar town near Hyderabad.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to probe several cases against Nayeem and also allegations that some politicians and policemen had links with him.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had told the state assembly in December that after the death of Nayeem, police registered 174 cases, arrested 124 accused, and seized firearms and properties worth over Rs 100 crore.
He said the gang's involvement was established in 27 murder cases and it was suspected to be involved in another 25 murder cases.
He had said police had filed two charge-sheets and 15 more charge-sheets were ready to be filed.
As a Maoist, Nayeem had killed an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer K.L. Vyas in 1993. After being expelled from the People's War Group (PWG) for indulging in extortion, he turned a police informer to help them effectively counter Left-wing extremism, which was then at its peak.
Nayeem, with alleged help from police, eliminated some top Maoists and their sympathisers in then united Andhra Pradesh.