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Idol Wing revolt: Rattled Pon Manickavel responds to charges, alleges conspiracy

Even as Pon Manickavel has been accused of misconduct by his colleagues over the past two days, the Idol Wing Special Officer addressed the media on Tuesday in Chennai, responding to the allegations.

Pon Manickavel alleged that somebody was behind the rebellion of over 20 officers, who have accused the former Idol Wing chief of forcing them to foist cases on his personal and professional foes.

Hitting back, a visibly rattled Pon Manickavel told media persons, “I am telling you, none of the 21 have filed any FIRs in the past 400 days. They have not arrested even one criminal. Till today, if they had been tasked with any investigation, then they must have filed charge sheet or a police report. None of that has been filed. I only feel pity for them. They are all good boys. Somebody is acting behind them.”

On Tuesday, Additional Superintendent of Police (ADSP) Elango told media persons that Idol Wing officers were being asked to toe the investigation line, pre-decided by Pon Manickavel. ADSP Kumar, the Investigating Officer in the theft of nearly 100 bronze idols at the Pandanallur Sri Pasupatheeswarar temple complex in Thanjavur said that he was forced to arrest accused persons without sufficient evidence. He also alleged that he went on medical leave, unable to work with Pon Manickavel.

Responding to this, Pon Manickavel said, “He is a deserter. If a police officer doesn’t come for sure for more than 21 days, we categorize them as a deserter. According to police rules, if they don’t come for more than 60 days, then we categorize them as confirmed deserter.”

Refusing to mention ADSP Kumar’s name, Pon Manickavel said that the Pandanallur case handed over to the Idol Wing by the High Court, was entrusted with the ADSP. “He left the case and ran. For 250 days he didn’t come. What happens to taxpayer money? We don’t live dependent on the strength (of the force). We are conducting business with the help of a few people. Arresting is a big decision for us. We cannot arrest constables like Crime Branch CID or Special Units. If he doesn’t come to duty for 250 days, can we take him for duty? But he has been taken for duty. He was posted to the Vigilance department. What a travesty. Is this justice?” he asked.

Emphasising that he was an officer appointed by the High Court and not a government servant, Pon Manickavel said, “I am not faulting them (the officers who complained). We are keeping them for assistance. A lot of idols have to be recovered, they need to be lifted, it needs to be supervised. Everyone is saying that my success is in the strength of the force. There is no place to talk of success. This is duty. Till my last breath, I will do this duty and then I will die.”

Openly explaining his modus operandi for nabbing idol smugglers, Pon Manickavel said, “I ask district SPs for four constables. I would go myself in the official car. I will get down in another place. I will get into an auto. I have asked for Inspector in some places. I take my own weapon and catch them. This is the truth, this is truth. I have nabbed approximately 47 criminals. The credit will go to the constables and SPs in the district.

However, the Idol Wing Special Officer admitted that it had been months since he called for a meeting with inspectors.

“Orders were passed on July 21, 2017. On December 5, 2017 they have reported for duty. From then to now, not one person has given transfer petition. They can give it to me directly, they can email me. Only three people asked to be relieved. A transfer order was given by the DGP to just one person. But I didn’t relieve him because nobody should be relieved without the orders of the High Court. It is an illusion to say they were under mental stress,” Manickavel said.

When asked whether he prevented them from doing their duty, a visibly annoyed Pon Manickavel hugged a journalist next to him and asked, “Did I hug them, preventing them from working? You are a police officer, I say,” he yelled.

Adding that he was waging a lone war, he said, “They have asked how can you file FIR without documents and evidence? They have written and given it as a petition and it has come out to the public. Firstly, the man who has given the petition lacks basic legal knowledge. Secondly, the man who has received the petition also definitely lacks basic legal knowledge.”

Source: The News Minute