What next for retiring Kerala top cop?


Even as the curtains come down on the official career of Kerala’s top cop — State Police Chief Loknath Behera, all eyes are on what would be his next assignment as he is reportedly very close to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Behera was appointed the police chief the very day Vijayan took office in his first outing in May 2016, but had to make way for T.P. Senkumar, who was later moved out by Vijayan.

But Senkumar fought his case against removal in the apex court and got his post back.

And when Senkumar superannuated, Behera got back the job and headed the state police for around five years being the most trusted cop of Vijayan.

A source in the know of things said with Behera himself stating that though he hails from Odisha, he will be around in Kerala for some more time, it clearly indicates that Vijayan will definitely place him somewhere.

At present two key posts are vacant — the CMD post at Cochin Airport and advisor to Vijayan on law and order issues, which was held by Raman Srivatsava in the first tenure of Vijayan as Chief Minister (2016-21).

Behera in a career that began in 1985 has held all the key police posts including the state police chief, Fire and Rescue, Vigilance and Jails.

He also had a stint with the CBI and was part of the team which probed the Purulia arms drop case, IC-814 hijacking, Mumbai serial blasts and the Haren Pandya murder case among others.

And when the premier investigation agency NIA was formed in 2009, Behera was part of it from the time of its inception.

Behera superannuates on Wednesday and as is the norm he will be given a ceremonial send off.