Udupi: Looks like the district of Ballari – until a couple of years ago Bellary – has to invariably remain in wide focus. With the powerful mining lobby holding the puppet-strings of power, it had earned the tag of a ‘Republic’ in the past decade.
Now it is in the news again. The arena has remained the same. Only the players seem to have changed. A young woman from Paniyoor in Uchila Bada village in Udupi district who built up a career for herself by sheer hard work is reportedly being hounded out by powers-that-be in Ballari.
Daughter of Radhakrishna Shenoy and Nalini of Paniyoor, Anupama Shenoy had always aspired for a police career. Radhakrishna still runs a small refreshment canteen in Uchila. In spite of the resource crunch, the parents gave their three children good education.
Anupama is the eldest, the only daughter. Of the other two brothers, one is a civil engineer and another an electrical engineer working in Dubai.
She had her primary and high school education in St Joseph’s school in Kulshekar in Mangaluru, followed by BSc and MSW studies in St Aloysius College. She also worked as a lecturer in the same college for some time.
Chasing her dream of becoming a police officer, she soon went to Delhi and prepared herself for the UPSC examination. She also appeared for the Karnataka Administrative Service examination. She did not taste success in IPS but cleared the state-level examination in 2012.
She underwent training in Mysuru for a year. During this stint, she won the best rifle-shooting and best woman cadet trophies. She did not fail to recognize her past teachers who had moulded her personality. She ensured their presence at the passing-out ceremony held in the cultural capital of the state.
Following the year-long training, Anupama served as the deputy superintendent of police in Madikeri for about 18 months. She was then transferred to Kudligi in Ballari district. The people of Gollarahalli gratefully recall her efforts in creating awareness against false beliefs.
Many politicians and ministers who are elected for a five-year period, with a pampered ego, tend to assert their clout and power, and go overboard, esp., when it comes to soft targets. Last month, Anupama, as the DySP, received a call from state labour minister Parameshwar Naik.
The conversation was not clear. Also in the meantime since she received an important call from a high police official, she put the minister’s call on hold and attended to the call from her superior.
That was enough for the neta to show his true colours by grabbing the opportunity to show others who the boss was.
He reportedly got her transferred to Indi subdivision immediately. Later reports said that she was asked to proceed on long leave, with no fresh posting notified. Currently she is spending quality time with her parents.
In deference to constraints of service rules, she has tried to stay out of the controversy by being circumspect about it. But her relatives have not hesitated to express their anguish at the raw deal meted out to her.
On the other hand, there has been a backlash from all over the state. The people of Kudligi are up in arms and are seeking the resignation of the said minister.
The opposition parties are using the opportunity to embarrass the government and fishing in troubled waters. Whether they are doing it out of genuine concern for a wronged police officer, an upright woman at that, is a different question.
The damage control process was more ridiculous. Initially, Naik had denied any hand in the transfer. But soon thereafter, he was caught on camera by the media when he boasted at a party workers’ meeting that the transfer was indeed his achievement.
On Sunday, inspector general and director general of police Om Prakash denied in Kalaburagi that she had been sent on long leave but she would soon resume duty. He said that those reports were created by the media. He pointed out that the election time was round the corner and asked as to how a senior police officer could be granted leave at such an exigency period.
Sunday, January 31, witnessed another important development. A team from the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) welfare forum of Udupi district paid a visit to the Shenoy house in Uchila. They assured the parents and family members of their full support.
They also pledged to hold a statewide agitation to demand the resignation of the said minister. The team was led by Vivekananda Shenoy and Sanoor Narasimha Kamath.
On the flipside, a relative of Anupama’s, on condition of anonymity, spoke to this writer and expressed concern that the focus on this issue was attaining different angles and larger dimensions. This might indirectly affect her career in the long run, for no fault of hers, the relative said.
It is also surprising that her peers and seniors in the police force have not lent her their support. Informed sources in the police, speaking exclusively, said that some of them only gave a generous advice, asking her to approach the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal with her grievance and washed their hands of the whole matter.
With a twist to the proverbial expression, it can be said that where improbity is bliss, it is folly to be upright.