Karnataka IPS officer lobbied for top post through Ahmed Patel, audio tapes reveal

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Bengaluru: Did a senior IPS officer in Karnataka lobby for Bengaluru City Police Commissioner’s post through a power broker close to senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel? It appears yes if purported conversations in three audio tapes between Bengaluru Police Commissiner Bhaskar Rao and one Faraz are true.

Three audio clips of the alleged conversation between Bhaskar Rao and Faraz have been aired by a Kannada television channel. The veracity of the tapes has not verified so far. Bhaskar Rao, who is believed to have used his connections with the RSS to get the post, has sought an inquiry into the tapping of phones.

The Bharatiya Janata Party Government replaced Alok Kumar with Bhaskar Rao within days of taking over following the fall of coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy. Alok Kumar, who was appointed by the coalition government, is seeking legal remedy for his removal within 47 days of appointment as the Police commissioner.

In the audio tapes running into approximately nine minutes, probably recorded during May-June, Bhaskar Rao is heard lobbying for the commissioner’s post through Ahmed Patel when coalition government was in power. Faraz mentions of roza during the conversations, indicating that it was recorded during Ramzan month. They talk both in English and Hindi.

Faraz also uses the names of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and senior madam (Sonia Gandhi) in the conversations. He drops indications to have excellent contacts in the Congress High Command by mentioning his attending meetings with top leaders, including one at the Congress party headquarters. However, it is not clear whether their attention also was drawn to the appointment or not.

Faraz also talks of Ahmed Patel giving physical “thumbs up” for the appointment of Bhaskar Rao. Faraz claims that he has been told by the veteran Congress leader, close to the Gandhi family, to talk to K C Venugopal, who is in-charge of Karnataka affairs. The power broker, whose proximity to Ahmed Patel is not clearly known, says that he had asked Patel to speak to Janata Dal supremo H D Deve Gowda on the appointment issue.

Faraz claims that even if the coalition government collapses, “we have our man Rajeevan” (it is not clear as to who he is) and he knows everything and what the issue is all about. Bhaskar Rao, who expresses his urgency on the appointment issue, is heard saying that Deve Gowda and former minister H D Revanna, who was called super CM in the coalition government, were in his favour. He wants the Congress leadership to impress upon Kumaraswamy on his appointment. On one occasion, the IPS officer wants Faraz to make it positive and things seem to be going in his (probably Alok Kumar’s) way.

Bhaskar Rao, a 1990 batch IPS officer, expresses his concern when

Faraz talks of appointment after four months. That fellow (Alok Kumar) will go to court as an officer appointed to executive post cannot be removed within a year of appointment as the Government of India rules are “very very strict”.

The current Police Commissioner also points out that Kumaraswamy had ordered an inquiry into lottery scam against Alok Kumar and the CBI inquiry was still pending. The appointment would only embarrass the coalition government.

Faraz also mentions that Bhaskar Rao was offered Bengaluru South seat by Venugopal. He also talks of Bhaskar Rao going to Kaushal Vidhyarthi (Rahul Gandhi’s close aide), plans for Seva Dal and intention to resign and come into the organisation very subtly. The middle man talks of how Bhaskar Rao was a Congressman at heart and how he had dissuaded him from resigning as “this is not the right time.” Senior police officers admit that there is lobbying in the department for top posts. It works on caste lines and the officers proximity to the powers that be.

(Edited by Prashant Hamine and written by Mohan Babu)

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