Former TN top cop admits to gutkha scam

Former TN top cop admits to gutkha scam

Former Chennai Police Commissioner S George on Friday admitted to “gutkha scam” in Tamil Nadu, but laid the blame at the door of his successors, including incumbent Director General of Police T K Rajendran, and junior officers, while playing the “victim” card.

Though he held out the disclaimer every now and then that he was “not casting aspersions on any officer”, George, who retired as an officer in the rank of DGP, said he was not the police commissioner of the city during the dates mentioned in the diary of a gutkha manufacturer – A V Madhava Rao – of money being allegedly paid to top police officials and politicians for allowing illegal sale of gutkha.

“I was not the Commissioner of Police during the dates on which payments are alleged to have been made. And I am not casting aspersions on other Commissioners who succeeded me. Mr Rajendran, Mr J K Tripathi and Mr Ashuthosh Shukla held the post of Commissioner of Police between October 2015 and September 2016 when I came back as Commissioner,” George told during a press conference.

He also said even during the arguments in the case seeking CBI probe by DMK MLA J Anbazhagan, his counsel P Wilson did not mention his name and ruled that there was no “security to an honest officer like me.” After having laid the blame directly on the DGP, who was also raided by the CBI on Wednesday, George later said the case was foisted only to prevent him and Rajendran from becoming the chief of the police force.

“As far myself and Rajendran are concerned, the case was brought in only to prevent us from becoming the DGP,” he said, adding that there was no truth in his involvement in the scam.

A combative George lost cool when a reporter pointed to the Income Tax report which alleges that gutkha manufacturers paid Rs 15 lakh to him during 2015 Christmas. “Why should a former CoP be paid? Why should he paid?” George asked and pointed to the scribe's faith prompting vociferous protests. After the reporter concerned and his colleagues stood their ground that he was absolutely wrong in dragging the religion of someone who was simply exercising his professional duty.

“There was a gutkha scam. There was some illegal activity going on and how do you expect the Commissioner to know what happens in all 300 police stations. Jayakumar (currently Villupuram SP) who was the deputy commissioner with the Chennai Police's Crime Branch then betrayed me and failed to bring the issue to my notice. That's why I gave him below average rating in his appraisal,” he said.

George also recalled that it was he who wrote a letter to Home Secretary after the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa's death seeking an inquiry into the gutkha scam as “scandalous rumours” were being spread. However, the former top police officer did not respond to questions on why he failed to take action police officers who were on the wrong side of the law with regard to the scam.