‘We want Sudheer Reddy back’: People bat for K’taka IPS officer after transfer

Dakshina Kannada SP Sudheer Reddy was allegedly transferred for acting tough against the sand mafia in the district.
‘We want Sudheer Reddy back’: People bat for K’taka IPS officer after transfer
‘We want Sudheer Reddy back’: People bat for K’taka IPS officer after transfer

Dakshina Kannada-district-in-charge Minister B Ramanath may claim that Superintendent of Police CH Sudheer Kumar Reddy has been transferred to Belagavi as part of “routine” procedure. But many believe that the top cop was shunted out as he was acting tough against influential and politically connected illegal sand mafia.

In his brief tenure in the Dakshina Kannada district, a total of 80 people were arrested under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code and Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act.  

Reports suggest that although the District Minister allegedly pushed for his transfer for some time, it was delayed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to avoid the scrutiny of the opposition and general public.

“The transfer was due to the friction between the SP and the minister. Otherwise, the government was happy with the work done by the officer in keeping communal incidents in check.  In order to keep both sides happy, Reddy was transferred to a bigger district,” a person in the know of the specifics of the change told TNM, on the condition of anonymity.

From Monday, social media was abuzz with many tweets questioning the removal of the popular officer. People tweeted with #WeWantSudheerReddy questioning the government’s motive.

One social activist working in the region, Jayan Malpe, said. “There is no doubt that he was transferred because of his action against the sand mafia.”

This is in line with the government's action against honest officers, he alleged mentioning, “The SP of Udupi Sanjeev Patil was transferred in a similar fashion.”  In December 2017, Superintendent Sanjeev Patil was transferred to Bengaluru as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Administration, from Udupi allegedly for cracking down on the sand mafia.

He added that Sudheer Reddy had a connect with the people as he had multiple phone-in programs with the public at large. The 2010-batch IPS officer had also learnt Tulu the language - spoken in the region in three months.

On the fact that the BJP had not raised his transfer, Jayan alleged, “It is not a matter of BJP versus the Congress here. Both the parties are equally involved in the illegal activities.”

Although the BJP has not taken to streets over the issue, the party’s Dakshina Kannada President Sanjeev Matanduru said that the officer has been transferred “without due reason”.

Attacking the Congress government’s decision, he said, “Since the last four years, whoever is following the law and administering justice in the coastal districts is being transferred. Nobody including the Congress workers has protested against these officials. He was a good officer. He had taken action against BJP karyakartas too and we did not complain because he was fair.  He was against the sand mafia and communal violence in the district.”

According to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms’ notification, Reddy will be the new SP of Belagavi just six months after his appointment as Dakshina Kannada SP. Meanwhile, erstwhile Belagavi SP BR Ravikanthe Gowda will replace him as the SP in Dakshina Kannada.

The coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi are known for the notorious sand mafias, which have been carrying out illegal quarrying. The deputy commissioner (DC) of Udupi district, Priyanka Mary Francis, and assistant commissioner Shilpa Nag had a narrow escape in April 2017 when a gang involved in illegal sand mining tried to assault them.

Transfers in less than a years’ time of duty is not uncommon in Dakshina Kannada, Reddy’s predecessor Bhushan Gulabrao Borase was also shunted out within six months of his appointment after a public tiff with the minister.

(With inputs from Prajwal Bhat)


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