Suspended policeman accused of multiple charges

The Special Branch report on the suspended civil police officer accuses him of multiple charges in connection with the operation of a coffee vending machine at the station where he worked.

Deputy Commissioner (Kochi City) Aishwarya Dongre on Monday suspended P.S. Raghu of the Kalamassery police station on disciplinary grounds based on the Special Branch Assistant Commissioner’s report.

The Kochi City Narcotic Cell Assistant Commissioner, who is probing the charges, will submit a report within a month.

Mr. Raghu was entrusted by the Station House Officer (SHO) to install a coffee vending machine for visitors to the station. However, the Special Branch report accuses him of turning the installation of the machine into a celebration by inviting the media and giving them interviews without the knowledge of the SHO, who was away attending a meeting called by the District Police Chief (Kochi City) on February 17. Incidentally, the SHO alone is authorised to interact with the media.

The report further accuses him of organising the event by abdicating station watch duty for which he was deployed. The report found it a serious lapse considering that the accused in a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act were being held in the station cell on the day.

On his part, Mr. Raghu said it was not even an inaugural function but just an installation of a mere coffee vending machine. “The senior officers seem to have been unaware of it, but then it was for my superiors to inform them. Also, the event received such wide publicity, and that seems to have backfired,” he said.

The installation of the machine was widely reported in the media. Mr. Raghu, who is active on social media, was in the news for his part in helping a French citizen who was stranded during the lockdown. He was also actively involved in many popular initiatives like feeding destitute people and strays during the lockdown that brought him much appreciation.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 5:48:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/suspended-policeman-accused-of-multiple-charges/article33975075.ece

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