The Election Commission on Saturday ordered the transfer of Inspector-General of Police (South Zone) S.S. Krishnamoorthy.
Mr. Krishnamoorthy, an Indian Police Service officer, was directed to hand over charge to the Zonal IG nearest to the South Zone which includes jurisdiction over the Tiruchendur Assembly constituency, where a by-election is to be held shortly, according to a press release issued by Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta.
The release recalled that during the Tirumangalam by-elections too, Mr. Krishanmoorthy [who was then Deputy Inspector-General, Madurai Range] was transferred by the Election Commission. Informed sources in the Commission say that it was “extremely annoyed” as it was with the selective raids he had conducted in the constituency, the Commission would not be satisfied with just the transfer. But it was intent on enquiring into the matter and pursuing it to its logical conclusion.
The sources say that for the time being Karan Singha, IG, Central Zone [the zone closest to the South Zone] would look after Mr. Krishanmoorthy’s responsibilities. The State government has been asked to furnish a panel of three names by Sunday evening. The transfer came even as K.A. Sengottaiyan, who heads the AIADMK Tiruchendur by-election working committee, sent a complaint to Chief Election Commissioner alleging model code of conduct and human rights violations by Mr. Krishnamoorthy. Mr. Sengottaiyan stated that in the early hours of Saturday, the rooms where he and two other AIADMK leaders and former Ministers, R.S. Raja Kannappan and O. Panneerselvam, were staying were “raided” by the IG. He contended that the search was done “without a search warrant, without any directions from the Election Commission and without any complaint whatsoever against myself and the two former Ministers.” However, Mr. Krishnamoorthy termed the search as a routine exercise and said it was a normal practice to carry out searches in lodges and marriage halls as there were complaints that money and materials were kept there for distribution to voters. The police had also conducted a search in the hotel where Revenue Minister I. Periasamy and members of the ruling party, including MLAs, were staying, he said.