Anil Kant: Behra lit ‘fire’ in Pinarayi’s shadow; അനിൽ കാന്തിനെ കാത്തിരിക്കുന്നത് വൻ വെല്ലുവിളി – anil kant took charge as new kerala dgp amid loknath behra’s comments

When Anil Kant takes over as the new police chief under the second Pinarayi Vijayan government, there are many challenges. Behra has served in the Indian Police Service for 36 years and has been considered for the post of CBI chief. Behra was instrumental in the formation of the NIA, which came into being in 2009, and has a track record of four and a half years in charge of intelligence and operations.

The new police DGP is facing the dilemma of having to respond to the revelations made by Behra when the state police came under Anin Kant. Behra’s revelations on IS presence, sleeping cells, love jihad and gold smuggling will be questioned. Since these are matters that put pressure on the state government, many questions need to be considered before answering. Although Kerala is one of the targets of IS, Behra’s statement that the state is completely safe is aimed at defending the government. The allegation came from an officer who had been the state police chief for five years, when allegations of IS presence in Kerala came from various quarters.

The question of what has been done against the IS presence in the state is also a question that may arise against Behra. The gold smuggling, which garnered national attention during the last days of the first Pinarayi government, has now resisted the state government in a new form. The probe into the alleged money laundering and bribery of BJP state president K Surendran is progressing. Anil Kant’s stance is crucial in a case where national agencies have a special interest in the Kannur – based gold smuggling case.

There is no doubt that Behra’s outspokenness before stepping down will put the new DGP on the defensive. Especially when responding to IS issues. Behra’s demand for a Maharashtra-style law to curb gold smuggling shows the extent of gold smuggling in the state. Behra says love jihad is just a local term and that it is not new for people of different religions to get married. It is noteworthy that Behra adopts a style of revelation and defense.

The demand has been raised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) that the Chief of Police should step down and not respond to Behra’s remarks.

The government had clear objectives when it removed TP Senkumar and appointed Behra as the state police chief. Senkumar lost his DGP post for a number of reasons. Behra, who came later, sided with the government. But today, it is also time for the Opposition and the BJP to tighten their grip on the state government. The State Government has also distanced itself from the Central Government on various issues. Central agencies continue to interfere with the state police. Anil Kant, who will take over as DGP on July 30, has only seven months left in his service but will get two more years as the state police chief. In the new situation, these two years will be filled with many challenges.

Even before Behra’s open statement, the terrorist presence in Kerala had come to light. The allegation that the efficiency of the intelligence system is being exploited is also strong. Surprisingly, the post of Intelligence DIG has been vacant for two years, despite years of demand for appointments to key posts in the Intelligence. Agencies like IB, NIA and the Q branch of the Tamil Nadu government visited Kerala and took several steps. The fact is that the state intelligence service knew about this even when the detainees were released from the state. We need to know what Anil Kant will do to increase the efficiency of the intelligence system when various agencies in Kerala successfully carry out the intervention that confirms Behra’s words.

(The author is Samayam Malayalam sub-editor Jibin George. The article contains personal opinions of the author, not Samayam Malayalam)

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