A senior IPS officer was on Saturday given full additional charge as IGP, Idol Wing, by the Tamil Nadu government, days after the Madras High Court warned of issuing notices to the authorities on the matter. AG Pon Manickavel, Inspector General of Police, Railways, will hold “full additional charge” as IG, Idol Wing, CID, Chennai, a Home (SC) Department note from Additional Chief Secretary Niranjan Mardi said.
Manickavel replaces R Tamilchandran as the Idol Wing Inspector General. On September 5, the court had warned it would issue statutory notices to authorities concerned if the Tamil Nadu government did not issue an order appointing Manickavel as special officer to probe idol theft cases.
The court had then sought to know from the government pleader as to why the order had not been issued on appointment of Manickavel as directed by it earlier, despite the dismissal of the state government’s Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court. The court had on July 21 directed the Chief Secretary to issue appropriate orders within a week for the creation of a special camp at Tiruchirappalli headed by Manickavel to investigate pending cases related to theft of ancient idols from various temples in the state.
Manickavel is credited with cracking several cases and recovering various ancient idols worth crores of rupees during his stint with the Idol Wing of Tamil Nadu Police.