Eloor SI was transferred to Town North police station

The transfer of the Eloor sub-inspector M. N. Suresh to Town North police station has been attributed to the influence of the sand-mining lobby which was reportedly not comfortable with his constant raids on their activities.

Eloor and Cheranallore are the two police stations in the city police limits that report mining activities. The transfer of Mr. Suresh has now triggered a new round of accusations and counter-accusations.

Those supporting Mr. Suresh said that the strong political connection and muscle power of the sand-mining mafia is reflected in the destruction of the speed boat used by the police for patrolling and he was transferred for standing up to them.

On the other side, it is alleged that a mass petition was lodged with the then City Police Commissioner M.R. Ajith Kumar and a departmental inquiry on it was still on against Mr. Suresh. The complaint was that he sided with a certain person involved in sand-mining activities and accepted his help to get the speed boat repaired.

The section that blamed the sand mafia for the transfer, however, said that the sub-inspector invited the wrath of the sand mafia three days after he joined duty. Mr. Suresh took steps to repair the speed boat, which was lying unused, and carried out regular patrolling along the Periyar River. Illegal sand-mining near the Eloor ferry and Cheranallore region came down considerably following the speed boat drive, they claimed.

The sub-inspector had repaired the damaged speed boat using the help of an environmentalist in the area, who was waging a battle against the sand mafia. The illegal sand-mining lobby was behind the false complaint lodged against him, they added.

Senior police officials say that the decision to move Mr. Suresh was based on administrative reasons. Directly recruited sub-inspectors were posted at Eloor and Cheranallore, replacing those who have been promoted, as part of the government’s enhanced effort to check illegal sand-mining, they said.

Asked why the Department of Home was not supporting police officials in their fight against the sand mafia, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told The Hindu that he has not come across any report on the Eloor incident.

“I need not be informed, as the Additional Director General of Police, Inspector General of Police for the Range or the City Police Commissioner have the powers to transfer personnel under them. But I will take action, if the transfer was found to be wrong,” he said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said that he had asked police officials to act tough against those involved in illegal sand- mining. The police had no powers to seize the sand, as it remains vested with the Revenue Department. But police intervene regularly to check the menace, he said.

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