Odisha-born Kerala DGP Lokanath Behera is in the soup after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) accused him of diverting funds and violating norms in purchases.
The funds were allegedly diverted to construct villas for senior IPS officers and for purchasing bullet-proof vehicles for the VIPs.
The audit report said that five villas were constructed at Bhaktavilasom police quarters in Thiruvananthapuram with Rs 2.81 crore meant for staff quarters for 30 upper subordinates (Sub-Inspector and Assistant Sub-Inspector).
“The project was redesigned and funds were diverted happened between November 4, 2017, and August 2018,” Accountant General (General and Social Sector Audit) S Sunil Raj told media persons.
Behera, the report said, pushed for the villas despite objections raised by the finance department.
2 BULLETPROOF CARS
The Police Chief was also criticised for buying two bulletproof cars worth Rs. 1.10 crore for VIPs by misusing police modernisation funds. He has also been accused of flouting the purchase norms.
According to the report, 15 per cent of 269 light motor vehicles procured by the police department were luxury cars and deployed for use of high-level officers and non-operational units like the CBCID.
If this was not enough, bullet-resistant vehicles, which were mean for operations in Maoist-infested areas, were deployed for VIP security.
The report expressed concern over 25 INSAS rifles and 12,061 live cartridges missing from the from the Special Armed Police battalion as it can have a serious implication on the security of the state.
It has accused the police department of covering up the shortfall in arms and ammunition.
A Crime Branch probe into the missing ammunition had also hinted at an attempt to cover up the shortage of drill cartridges by replacing them with 250 dummy ones.
Born in Puri, this 1985-batch IPS officer was appointed as the DGP of the South Indian state in July 2016. He is due for retirement in 2021.