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Thursday, January 28, 2021

IPS officers in war of words over ‘irregularities’ in ‘Nirbhaya Safe City’ project transferred

As per a government notification dated December 31, Hemant Nimbalkar has been transferred as the inspector general of police (IGP) in the Internal Security Division.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | December 31, 2020 8:39:17 pm
Hemant Nimbalkar, the chairperson of the tender inviting/scrutiny authority for the Bengaluru Safe City Project addresses the media in Bengaluru (Express photo)

The Karnataka government on Friday transferred two IPS officers who have been trading charges of irregularities in the tendering process for the ‘Nirbhaya Safe City’ Bengaluru project. The blame game has gone on for several days, casting a shadow on the project that is aimed at making the city safe for women.

As per a government notification dated December 31, Hemant Nimbalkar has been transferred as the inspector general of police (IGP) in the Internal Security Division. The 1998 batch IPS officer was serving as the IGP & Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration), Bengaluru.

D Roopa, the other IPS officer, has been posted as the managing director of Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation, a post that was declared equivalent of the IGP cadre. The 2000 batch officer was the inspector general of police and secretary to the Government (Prison, Civil Defence and Auxiliary Services, Home Department.

Controversy erupted earlier this month after Nimbalkar, also the chairperson of the authority vested with the power to invite tenders for the ‘Nirbhaya Safe City’ Bengaluru project, wrote to the chief secretary alleging that a woman officer had “impersonated as the home secretary” to seek classified information from a participating company which was drafting the tender.

However, Roopa refuted the allegations saying she was asked to look into the tendering process by the chief secretary himself. Accusing Nimbalkar of making a “false and motivated” complaint against her, she raised the demand to “remove Nimbalkar from the Safe City project and conduct an inquiry on the biased and unfair tender.”

Also seeking immediate disciplinary proceedings against him by the government, she demanded a probe into why Nimbalkar was allowed to head the tender-inviting and scrutiny committees “despite being charge-sheeted by the CBI in the Rs 4500-crore IMA scam”.

According to sources, a high-level investigation is underway to look into the allegations made by the officers. “They have been removed from the responsibilities vested in them in the interest of a fair investigation. Further action will follow on the basis of the report submitted by the officer-in-charge,” a source in the government said.

While Malini Krishnamoorthy, a 1993 batch IPS officer, has been posted as Roopa’s replacement in the Home Department, the government is yet to notify Nimbalkar’s successor to the post of IGP & ACP (Administration), Bengaluru City.

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