Director General of Police-rank officer and former Intelligence chief of Andhra Pradesh AB Venkateswara Rao on Sunday responded to the YSRCP government's decision to place him under suspension.
The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government had accused Rao of serious misconduct in the process of procuring security equipment. The officer allegedly endangered 'national security' by disclosing intelligence protocols to an Israeli defence manufacturing firm, the state government had said.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Rao said that the news of his suspension had not disturbed him in any way and said that there was no need to worry.
Stating that he was exploring legal options available to him, he said that everyone would soon "get to know what happens next, in the due course of time."
On Saturday, Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney had issued an order placing Rao under suspension based on a report submitted by Director General of Police Gautam Sawang.
The Government Order (GO) says the official is placed under suspension in the public interest, pending initiation of disciplinary proceedings.
The Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of 1989 batch has been directed not to leave Vijayawada without obtaining government permission.
According to a confidential report, Rao while working as Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) during the previous government, colluded with Israeli defence equipment manufacturer RT Inflatables Pvt Ltd to illegally award critical Intelligence and surveillance contract to his son Chetan Sai Krishna, CEO, Akasam Advanced Systems Pvt Ltd, primary bidder on behalf of RT Inflatables.
"This proves a direct co-relation between the accused officer and a foreign defence manufacturing firm, thus establishing a direct breach of ethical code of conduct and Rule (3)(a) of All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968," says the report.
It was found that Rao's action led to 'credible security threat towards the state and the nation'. He is accused of 'wilfully disclosing intelligence protocols and procedures of police to a foreign defence manufacturing firm'.
"Based on facts uncovered via investigation, prima facie evidence is established on the grave misconduct and irregularities, which were wilfully committed by the accused officer resulting out of conscious and premeditated act of treason towards the state and nation," says the report.
Considered close to then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Rao was removed as the Intelligence chief after Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed office in May last year. He has since been waiting for a posting.
Earlier, on the eve of the elections in April, the Election Commission had ordered the transfer of the Intelligence chief following a complaint filed by the YSRCP. The then opposition party alleged that Chandrababu Naidu was using police officials to subvert the election process in the state.
YSRCP had also claimed that Rao was behind the defection of nearly two dozen YSRCP MLAs to then ruling Telugu Desam Party.