K.V. Subramanya

Chief Ministers had officers of their caste posted to the wing

The posts were upgraded or downgraded to suit the rank of the officer

BANGALORE: The manner in which successive Chief Ministers have been posting senior IPS officers to the highly-sensitive State intelligence wing has raised many an eye-brow.

Since the early 1980s, many Chief Ministers had IPS officers of their caste posted to the all-important intelligence wing. Besides, the governments either upgraded or downgraded the post to suit the rank of the officer.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has continued the tradition. While effecting a major reshuffle of IPS officers recently, the State Government posted B.G. Jyothiprakash Mirji as Inspector-General of Police, State Intelligence.

A few days after Mr. Yeddyurappa was sworn in, the Government replaced Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence) Kuchanna Srinivas, who belongs to OBC, with another officer of the same rank, Shankar Mahadev Bidari. Incidentally, both Mr. Mirji and Mr. Bidari are Lingayats like Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Even during Mr. Yeddyurappa’s first and brief tenure as Chief Minister, Mr. Bidari, who was the then ADGP (Law and Order) was posted as ADGP (Intelligence). During the President’s Rule, Mr. Bidari was posted back as ADGP (Law and Order) and Mr. Srinivas was made the head of the Intelligence Wing.

Mr. Yeddyurappa’s predecessor, H.D. Kumaraswamy, had appointed an officer from his own Vokkaliga community as head of the intelligence wing. After the Kumaraswamy Government assumed office, the then ADGP (Intelligence) D.V. Guruprasad, a Brahmin, was replaced by Inspector-General of Police H.C. Kishorechandra. Even during the 1980s, the then Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde posted an officer of his caste as the chief of the intelligence wing.

On the other hand, some Chief Ministers had ensured that an officer from their caste was posted to the intelligence wing in a subordinate post when the head of the wing was from other castes. For instance, during the tenure of J.H. Patel, Mr. Bidari was made Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Intelligence). S.M. Krishna, a Vokkaliga who succeeded Mr. Patel, posted Deputy Inspector-General of Police T. Jayaprakash, a Vokkaliga, to the intelligence wing along with senior officers from other castes. It is another thing that there were no IPS officers from the castes to which former chief ministers S. Bangarappa, M. Veerappa Moily and N. Dharam Singh, belonged. Some senior IPS officers told The Hindu that “caste-based postings” to the sensitive wing would affect the professionalism of the staff working there. They said they were not doubting the efficiency of those posted, but were highlighting the need for keeping caste considerations away.