Kerala

Two forest officials suspended

Close on the heels of a police investigation unearthed serious lapses from the part of the officials at the Chittar forest station in the death of 41-year-old P.P. Mathai, two forest officials were on Monday placed under suspension pending further inquiry.

According to officials, deputy range officer R. Rajesh Kumar and section forest officer A.K. Pradeep Kumar were placed under suspension based on a departmental inquiry by the Chief Conservator of Forests (Southern Circle).

“The committee has sought more time to complete the inquiry. But in view of the prima facie possibility that precautionary measures had not been taken by the staff concerned, these officers have been suspended,” stated an order from the State government.

The action came a day after the police unearthed lapses by the forest officials in connection with the case. The probe, led by a Deputy Police superintendent-ranked officer, found that while the victim was taken into custody on July 28, a case was registered against him only a day later. It also pointed to attempts to manipulate the entries in the General Diary and the mahassar. The findings, submitted to the District Police Chief K.G. Simon, also recommended invocation of criminal charges against the officers.

When contacted, Mr. Simon said a decision on criminal charges would be made only later.

Meanwhile, the Kerala State Commission for Minorities has registered a suo moto case on the incident based on media reports.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 4:38:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/two-forest-officials-suspended/article32263460.ece

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