A day after he was suspended by the Andhra Pradesh government for the second time in less than two-and-a-half years, senior IPS officer A.B. Venkateswara Rao said on Wednesday that some individuals and forces were targeting him.
He told the mediapersons that some people are angry with him because as the then intelligence chief, he had foiled attempts to burn the state.
“Using Kodi Katti case as an excuse, they wanted to burn the state. Within a few hours, I effectively countered this. That’s why some people are angry with me,” he said without naming anyone.
‘Kodi Katti’ case refers to the knife attack on Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy by a youth at Visakhapatnam Airport in 2018.
Reddy, who was then the leader of opposition, sustained minor injury. The attacker used ‘kodi katti’ or a small knife which is used during cockfight.
A month after Rao’s reinstatement following the Supreme Court order, the state government on Tuesday suspended him on charges of trying to influence witnesses pertaining to the criminal case against him.
Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma issued an order placing the former Intelligence chief under suspension under sub-rule (3) of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969
The Indian Police Service (IPS) officer said he would challenge his suspension in a court of law and exuded confidence that it will not stand legal scrutiny. He argued that an officer can’t be suspended twice on the same issue.
Rao claimed that there was no chargesheet filed against him and hence there was no question of influencing the witnesses. He said he had a lot of evidence to prove that every word in the FIR registered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is false.
The officer said there was no misappropriation of even one rupee. He said the Israeli company wrote to the government that it paid no commission.
In February 2020, the state government had placed Venkateswara Rao, the IPS officer of 1989 batch, under suspension for his alleged misconduct and irregularities in the purchase of security equipment.
The officer was working as Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) during the previous government
Considered close to then chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Rao was removed as the intelligence chief after Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed office in May 2019. He was waiting for a posting.
The police officer had approached Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had set aside the suspension on May 22, 2020.
The Supreme Court on April 22, 2022 dismissed the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the state government challenging Andhra Pradesh High Court order.
The Supreme Court made it clear that the suspension could be for a maximum of two years as per the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Amendments Rules, 2015. It said since the two year period was over, the suspension could no longer be in place.
In May, the state government issued orders revoking Rao’s suspension with effect from February, 2022.
Though the officer had reported to the General Administration Department on May 19 for the posting, he was made to wait for nearly a month. He was finally appointed as commissioner, printing and stationery on June 15.
Rao said Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Srilakshmi has cases against her and chargesheets were filed against her but All India Service rules did not apply to her. “When the rules don’t apply to her, how can they apply to me,” he asked.
Srilakshmi is facing corruption charges in quid pro quo cases allegedly involving Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The IPS officer said several petitions and complaints were filed against him but during these three years there was no evidence that he did anything wrong.