Monday, August 17, 2009

ORISSA: Government humiliates IPS man

Express News Service First Published : 17 Aug 2009 04:16:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 17 Aug 2009 11:18:07 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: In what could snowball into a major embarrassment for the Naveen Patnaik Government, a senior IPS officer of the State was `denied’ the prestigious President’s medal, at the last moment, during the Independence Day function. DIG Vinaytosh Mishra, a 1993 batch officer and now on deputation to CISF in Bokaro, was present to receive the medal but his name was not called. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik went on to confer medals on two other officers of the same batch, while Mishra was ignored, much to his shock and humiliation.

His family was present at the function.

The incident led to outrage among the police officers many of whom saw it as a defiance of the Presidential order and violation of the Constitution.

Every year, the States recommend names of officers for President’s medal for meritorious service. After the President’s assent, the names are announced.

Thus, the State becomes a mere ceremonial representative to confer the medals. This time, Mishra, Susant Kumar Nath and R P Koche, three DIG-ranked officers, were nominated for the honour. In fact, till the last minute, everything was in order.

As part of protocol, Mishra was sent invitation for the investiture ceremony. He also attended the rehearsal on Friday, printed his signature on an official list and a chair in his name was designated at Jaydev Bhawan, where the function is held every year. It was when the names were read out as part of the citation ceremony that Mishra's name didn't figure.

The matter drew sharp reaction from the IPS officers' fraternity. According to a senior officer, who didn’t wish to be named, this is a direct defiance to the President and violation of Constitution.

``Since the medal is conferred by the President, nobody can take it away from Mishra. Besides, how can the Presidential order be flouted?’’ asked an officer.

Even as the issue has raised a serious row, the Government’s embarrassing move is aimed at pleasing tribal sentiments. In 2006, 13 tribals of Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district were killed in police firing. Mishra then was the SP of the district.

While no reaction was available from the CM’s Office, Home Secretary A P Padhy was not available for comment. The IPS officer is believed to have lodged a protest with Chief Secretary Ajit Tripathy.

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