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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: In a hasty, but not unexpected, move, the Odisha government on Monday reverted seasoned cop and former police commissioner of Twin City Sudhanshu Sarangi, to his old post as CMD Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation (OPHW) which he had held nearly a decade ago.

By tossing the top cop of Twin City to a post that is considered unglamorous, the Odisha government has once again shown scant regard to the police reforms, which the apex court had directed all the states to implement.

WHY SARANGI MOVED OUT?

As per top sources in the State Home Department, "The State Government has decided to transfer senior IPS officer Sudhansu Sarangi because on Feb 4, 2021, the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, had approved the empanelment of Sarangi to the ADGP rank."

He cited the earlier instance of Satyajit Mohanty, the predecessor to Sarangi, to drive home his point.

Satyajit Mohanty was also shunted out of the Twin City Police Commissioner nearly after a year's service.

WHAT THE POLICE STATUTES SAY?

As per police statutes, Police Commissioner is not a rank, it's a post. The norms say a Police Commissioner could be an IGP or an ADGP or SSP rank official.

This shows the  State government's ADGP empanelment alibi doesn't wash anyone's eyes.

 SC LAKSHMAN REKHA CROSSED?

As per SC guidelines, there should be a fixed tenure of at least two years for a cop in the rank of Inspector General Of Police or above. The former Twin city Police Commissioner had been appointed on August 19, 2019. but he was shunted out before 4-months of the minimum tenure.

For the second consecutive time, the State government has not adhered to the SC directions in making the tenures of senior police officials sacrosanct.

SARANGI's PERFORMANCE

Senior cop Sudhanshu Sarangi, an IPS officer of the 1990 batch, who has a doctorate in investigative psychology to his credit, has been a cop next door for the denizens of twin city and a 'Singham' for the criminals.

Known as the tech-savvy and James Bond (detective bent of mind) in police circles, during his tenure as Twin City Police Commissioner and Berhampur SP, Sarangi was known as the cop always on toes.

HIS EXCEL SHEET:

  • Few days before he being reverted to his decade-old post, Sarangi hogged the national headlines after he in a secret operation nabbed the main culprit of the sensational 1999 Anjana Mishra gangrape case.
  • He had cracked the sensational broad daylight gold heist at the Cuttack branch of India InfoLand Limited (IIFL).
  • During lockdown months, he led from the front to ensure no violation of COVID protocols issued by the Odisha government. The strict enforcement had forced truant makers to think twice before venturing onto the roads.
  • He endeared to the City denizens when Twin City police in a big way pitched forth itself to help people in distress due to shutdown restrictions.
  • Under his leadership, twin city police had launched a massive crackdown on food adulteration units in operation here.
  • Moreover, to tackle the menacing drug problem, during his tenure a dedicated Drug Task Force was set up.

IS THERE POLITICS BEHIND SARANGI SHIFT?

Well, not murmur or whisper, there is a very loud and open talk going on in the power corridors that former Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi shares a very uneasy relationship with many top ruling party politicians.

Even, top sources informed that had last year been not the pandemic year, Sarangi could have been shunted out much earlier.

TIPPING POINTS

When last year Sarangi implemented the SPO (Special Police Officers) concept to check the ever-rising crime against women, especially the high order of eve-teasing, harassment in schools, colleges and IT office campuses, it's the ruling party spokesperson who took objection to it calling it a 'gender discrimination', not the Opposition.

Though after facing flak, the ruling dispensation had washed off its hands from the controversial statement.

Top sources in the police department informed that Sarangi has put his foot down on political meddling in twin city police matters. Even, many ruling party leaders have indirectly started a whisper campaign against Sarangi much earlier. They have even petitioned his immediate transfer at the appropriate forums.

Another whisper also doing round in the power corridors is Sarangi had to face the political axe for his close proximity to a top cop, who is currently not in good books with the State Government.

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