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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

CAG report: Opposition seeks CBI probe against Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Last week, the CAG report found that the state police diverted funds for strengthening infrastructure for anti-Maoist activities to meet the luxury requirements of senior officials.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: February 20, 2020 9:35:11 am
kerala news, kerala cm pinarayi vijayan, cbi probe, cag report, kerala assembly, kerala congress, ramesh chennithala, cvc, indian express Congress-led Opposition on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File)

After the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Kerala Assembly indicted the state police department for misuse and diversion of funds, and irregularities in dealing with service providers, the Congress-led Opposition on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Last week, the CAG report found that the state police diverted funds for strengthening infrastructure for anti-Maoist activities to meet the luxury requirements of senior officials. The report also picked up irregularities in purchases, violations of CVC guidelines and deals inked in favour of private firms.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged, “State police chief Loknath Behera indulged in corruption with the connivance of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who is handling the home department. If one goes by the level of corruption reported in the CAG report, it is possible that it was done by the state DGP alone. There should be a CBI probe and Vijayan’s role should come under its ambit.”

Referring to the government’s decision to get the home secretary to look into the issues raised in the CAG report, Chennithala said they would not accept the home secretary’s report “whitewashing the deals”.

“We want the CBI to probe into all the issues. All the illegal dealings mentioned in the CAG report had the sanction of the government, which shows that such deals have been endorsed from the higher-levels of the government,” he said.

Chennithala also said the state police’s CCTV-based smart security system Central Intrusion Monitoring System (CIMS) was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

The CAG report blamed police for irregularities in the deal. “At whose behest was the CIMS project handed over to a firm named Galaxon which was launched in 2017. A single user of CIMS service had to pay Rs 80,000 towards the maintenance cost of the security system. The DGP has given a target for all district police superintendents, who have now become business promoters of a private firm,” said the Congress leader.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Vishwas Mehta, who was asked to look into the references against the police department in the CAG report, rejected the findings on Wednesday. He said in his report that rifles were not missing as reported by CAG and luxury vehicles mentioned in the report are used for operations.

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