DIG Roopa visits jail again, submits another report
Bengaluru: A day after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah warned DIG (Prisons) D Roopa over a fracas with her boss, she marched into Parappana Agrahara jail for an inspection.
Her visit came within hours of her superior, director-general H N Satyanarayana Rao, went around the jail on Saturday. She also submitted a second report, accusing the prison authorities of destroying evidence of the wrong-doing she had documented in her first report. Her first report had said Rao was providing VIP treatment for convicted Tamil Nadu politician Sasikala.
The Saturday inspections come in the wake of the government’s decision to get former IAS officer Vinay Kumar to probe Roopa’s charges.
Sources close to her said she was checking to see if any effort was being made to alter or destroy evidence of the special kitchen and lounge purportedly given to Sasikala.
However, this visit was not as quiet as her earlier ones. She was greeted by women inmates shouting slogans against her. She accused the jail authorities of turning them against her. As the tension escalated, Parappana Agrahara police rushed in. Deputy commissioner of police Boralingaiah also arrived, and sent the inmates back to their barracks.
Later, Roopa strode up to the Parappana Agrahara police station. There, she pulled up inspector Kishore Kumar, saying he had failed to control smuggling of drugs into jail. She demanded to see files of cases registered against those who had sneaked in drugs.
Roopa did the right thing the wrong way, say retd IPS officers
Several retired IPS officers have criticised DIG (Prisons) D Roopa for violating the service rules and not showing “officer-like qualities”. They, however, appreciated her concern to expose corruption in the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara.
“Roopa’s intention of curbing illegal activities in prisons should be praised,” said H T Sangliana, a former DGP (Prisons). “She took up the issue on her own. But she shouldn’t have violated the service rules.”
According to him, she should have approached the Home Secretary if her boss failed to act upon her report.
“She could have used her powers as DIG to crack down on illegal activities in the prison. She should be applauded if she manages to prove the accusations. But if she fails, she will lose the battle,” Sangliana said.
A former DGP, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “It’s not the issues, but the channel she chose for the redress of her grievances that matters.” He considered Roopa’s act of submitting a report to the state police chief, the Home Secretary and the ACB, and going to the media a violation of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968. “A DIG shouldn’t be impulsive. She should have used official channels to sort out the issues,” he said.
A former IGP pointed out the technical errors committed by Roopa. “The Prisons Department is an independent wing of the criminal justice system and is headed by a DGP. The state police chief (DG&IGP) and the ACB are in no way connected to the Prisons Department. Any report by a subordinate officer should be submitted to the DGP (Prisons), not external authorities.” He said Roopa could have approached other authorities in the event of the DGP (Prisons) ignoring her report.
Retired officials said corruption was rampant in prisons across India and that drugs was a global phenomenon.
A source close to Roopa said she did submit the report to her boss, DGP (Prisons) H S Sathyanarayana Rao, before sharing it with the DG&IGP, the Home Secretary and the ACB, considering the possibility that there would be no action on her findings.