Deputy Inspector General D Roopa, who triggered controversy after alleging that Bengaluru prison department officials are providing VIP treatment to AIADMK (Amma) chief V K Sasikala in exchange for a bribe of Rs 2 crore, on Friday demanded a fair probe into the matter and said targeting her alone was unfair. “Targeting me is unfair. If action is to be taken then it should be against all and not just me,” Roopa was quoted as saying by ANI.
Earlier in the day, the state government served a notice to Roopa asking her to explain why she had reported the issue to the media. Reacting to the incident, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed open displeasure over public comments by Roopa and ordered a high-level probe into allegations. “It is absolutely against the rulebook,” he said, adding that the officer could have approached any of her superiors about her charges against senior officials. The Chief Minister also said her remarks have brought embarrassment to the police department and also brought her superior and other prison officials under a cloud of bribery allegations.
“I didn’t speak to media originally, the DG gave the details. So service rules should apply to all and not on one,” Roopa said, insisting that she will cooperate with any investigation in connection with the case.
A 2000-batch IPS officer, Roopa submitted a report to the Home Department and Director General of Police for Prison Department HN Sathyanarayana Rao, alleging irregularities and corruption at Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru. The report also alleged that Sasikala, who is in jail in connection with a disproportionate assets case, has been provided an exclusive kitchen in violation of prison rules. “There was a rumour that you are aware of it and were paid Rs 2 crore for this facility. All these allegations are unfortunate and hence you have to address the issue immediately and take action…,” Roopa requested Rao in her report.
In addition, the report alleged that medical staff in the prison department supplied drugs to prisoners and also claimed VIP treatment for stamp paper scam kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi.
Rubbishing Roopa’s charge against him, Rao described the report as “absolutely false, baseless and wild”. He also said he would take legal action against his junior. “We have not provided any special treatment to Sasikala. She is like any other woman prisoner and lodged in the first floor of the womens’ barrack. The allegations are baseless and there is no evidence for them,” Rao said.
Regarding the allegations on drug use, Rao said, “Roopa was not aware of the laws pertaining to the prison department, which forced her to make all these allegations. The drug issue is also not a new discovery. Every day the prisoners try to get ganja and we have taken measures to avoid it.”