: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s announcement of cash reward and one-step promotion to 20 police officers and police personnel involved in the arrest of suspected extremists has created heartburn among the rank and file in the department who had been in the special teams that nabbed them now and in the past.

“We welcome the Chief Minister’s announcement of promotion and cash reward for our officers and men. But, the least we expected was some kind of recognition for our day and night toil in the hunt for those extremist elements,” a police personnel involved in the Madurai City Special Intelligence Cell (SIC) said.

The Assistant Commissioners of Police, Marirajan (SIC) and Karthikeyan (Special Investigation Team) and one constable Sivanesan (also SIT) were benefited by the Chief Minister’s announcement.

The contention of the police personnel involved in SIC, SIT and Special Intelligence Unit (SIU) is that their hard work and patient wait in cultivating sources among those close to the suspects involved in murders and planting of bombs over the years which were helpful in the probe have gone unrecognised.

The probe into the murder of milk stall owner B. Suresh Kumar, in Nethaji Road here on June 26 was done by the Madurai city law and order police, intelligence personnel said.

“But, the arrest of two accused in the case – Abdullah and Taufiq –was done by the SIC unit. The murder which was thought to be due to ordinary motive turned out to be the handiwork of suspected religious extremists. Our hard work led to the startling revelation that the murders of Hindu outfit leaders in Salem and Vellore too were carried out by ‘Police’ Fakruddin, Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail,” he added.

A suspect in the June 26 murder, Taufiq, confirmed Bilal Malik’s involvement in Vellore murder by identifying the bag and shirt worn by Bilal Malik.

Another intelligence personnel said that K. Mariappan of SIT and M. Vijayaperumal of SIU who have put in over a decade of service in intelligence collection of religious extremists, had risked their lives in the Puttur operation.

“After the gun battle was over, it was Mariappan who dared to enter suspects’ hideout and brought them out within minutes of negotiation. He had taken the risk of his life considering that a police Inspector had been brutally assaulted by the same suspects,” he said.

While Mariappan brought the suspects out of the house after taking the knife from Bilal Malik, Vijayaperumal was the only police who accompanied him, he added.

“Should not such an act of bravery be rewarded?” he asked.

Meanwhile, police officials and other ranks of a special team that arrested ‘Police’ Fakruddin in 2002 in Madurai feel that they were not considered for such a reward given to the members of the special team that gunned down Al-Umma member Imam Ali in Bangalore.

“Fakruddin and others used a country-made gun to attack the police escort party and helped Imam Ali escape at Tirumangalam. The gang took away with them an AK47 assault rifle. In this backdrop, we took the risk and arrested Fakruddin, Syed, and others,” a police officer said.

“Despite, the then team leader Ashutosh Shukla, recommending rewards including accelerated promotion for us, we got nothing till date,” the officer said.

Police officials and other ranks of a special team that arrested ‘Police’ Fakruddin in 2002 in Madurai feel that they were not considered for such a reward

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