Chennai: Three days after special officer of the idol wing Pon Manickavel refused to hand over all records and details of the cases pertaining to the idol theft, the state government on Tuesday posted the 2001-batch IPS officer T.S. Anbu who is Inspector General of Police (Administration) as IGP, Idol Wing, CID, Chennai.
Although Pon Manickavel won the praise from certain political parties for “recovering stolen temple idols,” his appointment as special officer of the idol wing after retirement by the Madras high court, did not appear to augur well for his subordinates or the senior officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) department.
His action, especially in arresting a few senior HR & CE officials made the latter allege that he was being “vindictive.” They even grumbled that he had not arrested any real culprits in the temple idol theft cases nor filed any chargesheet. While he and the senior HR&CE officials were at loggerheads, the temple executive officers and staff alleged that they were being targetted.
In a strange turn of events, the state govt’s move to transfer the idol theft cases to the CBI ran into rough weather with the Madras high court cuashing the transfer order in Nov last year. And the court appointed him as special officer for a year, though he was to retire on Nov. 30, 2018.
Now with Manickavel’s term as special officer ending on Nov. 30, the state government had on Friday directed him to hand over all the case records and work he and his team had done during his term in office. However, the retired IPS official had replied that it was “legally impermissible” in the absence of a specific direction from the Madras high court or the Supreme Court, as the court made his appointment.
He also initiated contempt proceedings in the Madras high court against the government officials. But on Monday, the Supreme Court stayed the contempt proceedings and upheld the government order directing him to hand over all case files to the Additional Director General of Police, Idol Wing.
Following this, on Tuesday, the State government transferred Mr. Anbu (IGP administration) and posted him as IGP, Idol Wing, CID, Chennai, in the newly created post. Mr Anbu has held several senior positions in Tamil Nadu police, including that of Joint Commissioner of the Central Crime Branch and Deputy Commissioner, Chennai East.