Barely minutes after Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said on Friday that a notice had been issued to deputy inspector general (prisons) D Roopa for going to the media with the 'corruption inside Bengaluru jail' report, the latter retorted: "It is unfair if they are out to punish me in the case."
Roopa was issued a notice for violating civil service rules by speaking to the media.
Roopa has been in the spotlight after she pointed to speculation about jail officials, including her senior and direc tor general of police (prisons) HN Sathyanarayana Rao, having received a bribe of Rs 2 crore to provide special treatment to AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, who is serving a sentence at Central Jail in Parappana Agrahara, Bengaluru. She had exposed several lapses in the prison's administration. However, the allegations were denied by Rao and jail officials.
With the issue snowballing into a controversy , Siddaramaiah ordered a high-level inquiry by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar into the prison affairs. The committee will submit its preliminary findings in a week and the final report in a month. A source in police circles said Roopa is likely to give a second report to her seniors on Saturday . Siddaramaiah told reporters in My suru: "She often goes to television channels. I have no objection if she gives a report on corruption to herseniors, but going to the media about it is prohibited."
Following the CM's statement, Roopa spoke to reporters and expressed fears she was being targeted for her "damning" report. She said: "I havenot spoken about the contents of the report to the media; I have defended myself after he (referring to Rao) went to the press. Targetingme or singling me out is not fair."
Recounting an incident where fellow IPS officer Sonia Narang took objection to her name being mentioned by Siddaramaiah in legislature in connection with the illegal mining scam, Roopa said: "Some Kannada newspapers alleged that she (Narang) had warned the CM. If nothing happened in that case, why am I being targeted? I have no axe to grind and I have made more enemies by this (referring to her report). Let there be an inquiry and I am open to it."
On the allegation that she has violated service rules, Roopa said: "Service rules should apply to all, and not to one. My junior officers in the department, including jail superintendent Krishnakumar, are making statements against me. Isn't this a violation of service rules?"
Former CM HD Kumaraswamy said on Friday the government should order DG (Prisons) HN Satyanarayana Rao and DIG (Prisons) D Roopa to go on leave to ensure an impartial probe into allegations of corruption in the prisons department.
Kumaraswamy alleged that he too had got reports that jail authorities inParappana Agrahara get Rs 1 crore as bribe every month, to provide various facilities to inmates. "The government has no control over senior officials in the state. These cases indicate the level of corruption in the administration at every level. Siddaramaiah often speaks volumes about transparency and a corruption-free administration, but the charges made by Roopa have exposed his hollow claims," he said.
Video footage of the cell, where stamp paper racket kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi is lodged, was leaked to a Kannada television channel on Friday morning. It was alleged Telgi has been given special treatment in the form of a fan, a table and two undertrials to give him a massage. The video has embarrassed the jail staff, who have been denying Roopa's allegations about corruption inside the prison. Asked about the leaked video, Roopa said: "Many things get leaked from the jail. This corroborates my report."