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BSP leader’s murder: Chennai's top cop shunted out, A Arun is new police commissioner

Reacting to the transfer of police officers, Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami said law and order situation won’t improve in the state only because of the reshuffle.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 07:32 IST

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Three days after state BSP chief K Armstrong was brutally killed, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday shunted out Sandeep Rai Rathore as Chennai Police Commissioner and replaced him with senior officer A Arun. 

Rathore, who had on July 6 claimed that the law and order situation in the city was fine despite the murder of the state leader of a national party, was posted as DGP (Training), Police Training College, Chennai. The transfer comes in the wake of the DMK dispensation coming under an intense attack from Opposition parties and some of its own allies who flagged the failing law and order situation in the state. 

 A Arun, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) will be the new Commissioner of Greater Chennai Police, which is likely to witness a revamp in the wake of the murder. Arun, who had served in several L&O posts in the past, will be replaced by another seasoned officer S Davidson Devasirvatham as ADGP (L&O) in the police headquarters. 

“Chennai is not new to me. I have served in the city in various capacities and my priorities as the police commissioner will be to maintain law and order, prevent crimes from happening and curbing rowdyism. We will teach them (rowdies) in the language they understand,” Arun told reporters after taking charge. 

Devasirvatham is a senior officer who was head of the state Intelligence Wing. He was also in the news in 2022 and 2023 for his alleged involvement in a fake passport scam when he was Madurai Commissioner of Police. However, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court gave the officer a clean chit on the issue.

The transfers and fresh postings are significant with government sources maintaining that the shunting out of a DGP-rank officer like Rathore shows that the DMK dispensation has taken a “serious view” of the law and order situation in the state.  

“The government didn’t want to save any police officer. The government has been under criticism for the past few months on the law and order situation in the state. More transfers are in the offing,” a government source told DH.

Reacting to the transfer of police officers, Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami said law and order situation won’t improve in the state only because of the reshuffle. “If the Chief Minister was serious about the law and order situation in the state, murders wouldn’t be the order of the day. He is just a puppet and the Chief Minister is clueless,” Palaniswami said. 

 Meanwhile, the Chennai Police on Monday formally recorded the arrest of three more persons in connection with the murder of Armstrong, chief of the Tamil Nadu unit of BSP, taking the number of arrests in the case to 11.  

 Armstrong (52) was murdered by a six-member gang on Friday night outside his residence in Perambur with the police maintaining that the killing was a “revenge” in retaliation for the broad daylight murder of Arcot Suresh, a notorious gangster, in August 2023. 

 ‘Punnai’ Bala, brother of Suresh, is believed to have confessed that he planned to kill Armstrong on the birthday of his elder brother. 

 Armstrong, who faced several criminal cases in the past and was cleared of them, is a noted figure in north Chennai and was popular among youngsters belonging to the Dalit community. 

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Published 08 July 2024, 07:32 IST

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