A raid conducted by an IPS officer last week at the Thiruvananthapuram district committee office of the ruling CPI(M) has sparked a fresh round of war of words between the state government and the Opposition.
Chaitra Teresa John, a 2016-batch IPS officer who was holding the temporary charge of DCP (law and order) in Thiruvananthapuram alongside her position as SP (women’s cell), conducted a raid on January 23 at the CPM district committee office to apprehend certain workers of the DYFI who were behind an incident of stone pelting at a police station a day earlier. Reportedly, John had received specific intelligence inputs that the workers were hiding there.
The previous day, a few DYFI workers had assembled outside the Medical College police station in the city wanting to meet two men who were arrested under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Upon being refused to meet, the DYFI workers took to pelting stones at the police station. John had carried out the raid at the CPM office to search for these workers. Nevertheless, the raid did not result in any arrests.
The ruling CPI(M), infuriated by the late-night raid, has asked for a detailed inquiry and appropriate punishment for the female officer.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, speaking on the floor of the Assembly during the ongoing Budget session, said offices of political parties are not usually subjected to such raids and that these are efforts to belittle political workers.
At the same time, the Opposition Congress said the raid by John was perfectly legal. If honest and upright officers like John are undermined, it will hit the morale of the state police force, the party charged.
There are also reports that ADGP Manoj Abraham, who was tasked with submitting a report on the actions of John, has recommended no action against her. Abraham could not be contacted.