Railway sees war between RPF association, CBI chief
Resumption of an old fight with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Association seems to be causing a distraction to the ongoing Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the high-profile rail bribery case.
While the association is raising controversies around the probe agency’s Director Ranjit Sinha’s stint as director general of the RPF, the agency is responding with allegations of wrongdoing by the association.
The latest provocation seems to have come after the association, along with Congress-backed Railway unions, came out with a statement saying Pawan Kumar Bansal should not be made a scapegoat. The CBI responded quickly, indicating a probe into the role of the RPF Association in postings and appointments to widen the scope of investigation into the bribery scam. It also indicated a probe into the appointment of the association’s director general as many officers were superseded to give the post to the incumbent.
The probe agency on Wednesday launched another attack, writing to the Railway Board to inform that a retired officer and Secretary General (U S Jha) of RPF Association was occupying three official accommodations in violation of service rules.
The agency defended its action saying that it was a routine job. “Sharing of such information regarding misuse of public money for necessary action by the department concerned is a normal practice and duty of the CBI,” said its spokesperson.
Secretary General Jha dismissed the allegations and claimed that all three were being used by different branches of the association. “I do not have anything to hide. All of these are being used as offices by different branches and zonal offices of the association,” he told Deccan Herald.
The association has been at war with Sinha since when he was the director general of RPF. The force had opposed many of his actions including penalising constables and others for leaving barracks without information. The association had also fought against mass transfer of RPF personnel.
Jha admitted to his fight with the CBI director since his days as director general of RPF. He alleged that Sinha did not act against “tainted” Inspector General of RPF of Central Railway B S Sidhu. Sidhu was found guilty of omission and commission and repatriated to Home Ministry. However, Jha said, Sinha protected him. Jha had complained against Sinha to then minister of Railways and also continued his tirade against the CBI director after his repatriation to Home Ministry and subsequent postings.