K.V. Subramanya

He has claimed 25 per cent of the amount payable to his contingent

The Cabinet has decided to release Rs. 10.6 crore for personnel who were part of STF operations against the brigand Nearly 1,300 of them will be eligible for rewards upwards of Rs. 1 lakh

BANGALORE: The disbursement of cash rewards to Special Task Force (STF) personnel, who were engaged in operations against brigand Veerappan, is snowballing into a controversy with a senior IPS official, who earlier headed the STF, all set to pocket a reward of around Rs. 1.6 crore.

According to official sources, the official has laid claim to 25 per cent of the reward money for the contingent, which worked under him. Some time ago, a note was sent to the Cabinet to sanction Rs. 28.6 crore for paying rewards to STF personnel in accordance with the file attached. The file contained the details of disbursement, and included the claim made by the official for a reward of around Rs. 1.6 crore. The Cabinet is believed to have cleared the proposal, sources said.

After the Cabinet meeting on May 3, Minister for Medical Education V.S. Acharya told presspersons that it had been decided to release Rs. 10.6 crore for reward to policemen who were part of STF when it was headed by commandants Shankar Bidari, M.K. Srivastava, Harshavardhana Raju and Kempaiah. Taking into consideration the rank and the period for which they were part of the task force, about 1,300 personnel would be eligible for rewards upwards of Rs. 1 lakh, he said.

The amount of Rs. 10.6 crore to be released will be in addition to the Rs. 18 crore released earlier, but not disbursed. The State Government announced cash rewards for those who were on the STF rolls on the day Veerappan was killed. But, some officials who headed STF requested the Government that even those who were engaged in anti-Veerappan operations under them should be rewarded, and the Government agreed to do so. According to the sources, it was decided that each commandant would decide the amount each member of his team should get.

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