Home / Politics / Policy /  Kerala government suspends DGP Jacob Thomas

Bengaluru: The Kerala government on Tuesday  suspended high-profile IPS officer Jacob Thomas. The suspension comes nearly a fortnight after he criticised the Pinarayi Vijayan government's response to Cyclone Ockhi, and over a month after a probe panel found him guilty of breaking rules binding civil servants. 

Thomas, a Director General of Police (DGP) rank officer best known for his anti corruption crusades, was heading Institute of Management in Government (IMG), Kerala government’s apex body for training public officials.

In a public talk on 9 December, Thomas had asked if the government would have been as slow in reacting to the crisis if the victims were of the elite class instead of poor fisherfolk. Thomas added the corrupt are united in Kerala to enjoy power and that has made people unwilling to fight against corruption.

Regional news channels reported that the suspension order was issued on Tuesday, following a direction from chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office.

Thomas has often found himself at odds with the ruling administration. During the previous Congress government, he was moved out of anti-graft agency Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2014, while investigating high-profile cases involving Congress leaders.

Vijayan, when he came to power in 2016, reinstated Thomas back to head the anti-corruption watchdog. But within a year, Thomas was forced to take a long leave. Finally, he was moved to IMG, a largely non-policing department.

Also read: The creative vigilance of Jacob Thomas

Thomas is also facing departmental action for penning an autobiography titled ‘Sravukalku Oppam Neenthumbol’ (Swimming with Sharks), which has dramatic revelations on major political events and politicians. After it was released this year, the Vijayan government appointed a three-member team to check whether he violated the All India Service (AIS) Conduct Rules, 1968. The probe had last month found Thomas guilty and recommended initiating criminal proceedings against him.

Mint could not get an immediate response from Thomas. “I haven’t yet received a suspension order. I don’t know if I’m suspended for writing the book or for the talk," he told regional news channels.

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