A complaint has been filed against Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and 27 ministers in his Cabinet with Karnataka Lokayukta over the transfer of police officers in the state as reported by the news agency ANI on Thursday morning. The complaint was filed by the chief of Karnataka police Mahasangha Shashidhar Venugopal who approached the Lokayukta, claiming that the CM and 27 other members of the state cabinet are involved in large scale corruption in police transfers.
According to a report published by India Today, as many as 41 IPS officers were transferred in a major reshuffle of the police force in Karnataka on December 31. Along with CM Siddaramaiah and his ministers, Venugopal also named 21 police officers in his complaint alleging that money was paid to the ministers for favourable transfers and appointments. He had urged the Lokayukta to launch a probe against all named in his complaint.
According to the report, those who were transferred from their posts included the then police commissioner of Bengaluru city, NS Megharik, who was made the chief of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) while the incumbent ACB chief K V Gagandeep was shunted out. It was speculated that the step was taken by the Chief Minister to bring a mix of old and new faces keeping in mind the 2018 state assembly elections.
Shashidhar has been a controversial figure himself and has made headlines in the past as well, according to India Today. He was arrested in June 2016 for ‘instigating’ police personnel to go on mass leave. Although he was slapped with sedition charges and spent two weeks in jail, the Karnataka High Court granted him bail.
Exactly what next step will be taken in the case is now up to the Lokayukta to decide.