Senior police officer 'washes Lalu Prasad's feet', probe ordered into incident

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 19 Desember 2013 | 07.20

RANCHI: Director general, Jharkhand police, Rajiv Kumar on Thursday ordered a probe into the act of Ramgarh subdivisional police officer (SDPO), Ashok Kumar reportedly washing the feet of fodder scam convict and RJD chief Lalu Prasad at a temple. The state police chief said that since a police officer is expected to maintain high degree of morality, especially while on duty, the allegations have to be verified for which Ramgarh SP has been directed to submit a report on the incident. Asked if an act of 'washing feet' could invite any punitive action against the officer; Kumar said that once report is submitted the police department would go into detail.

The SDPO who is in the rank of DSP, was deployed at Rajrappa temple when the former Bihar chief minister went to pay obeisance at the temple, on way to Patna from Birsa Munda Central jail after seeking bail from the apex court. While Kumar was captured by lensmen pouring water on Lalu's feet, another cop in uniform was seen carrying his slippers. The photographs published in media invited criticism for Jharkhand police prompting the DG to order probe.

Ramgarh SP Ranjit Kumar Prasad said that he had informally questioned the DSP but since a probe has been ordered a report would soon be submitted. "Once I receive a copy of the order from headquarters, the DSP would be questioned for preparing the report," he said.

Senior officials in the police department said that anyone donning a uniform is not expected to show any kind of inclination to any religion, caste, creed or individual. "The act of washing feet may not find an explanation in police code of conduct but obviously it can be considered unethical on part of the police officer who was on duty," the officer said.

The incident grabbed attention of the opposition in Jharkhand who raised the matter in assembly during the proceedings of winter session on Wednesday. Demanding explanation from the government, Pradeep Yadav of JVM and BJP leaders said that the act of the DSP exposed how the ruling coalition was using senior officers in administration.

The DSP reportedly explained to his seniors that since Lalu Prasad was known to his father he expressed gratitude to the 'elderly person' which had nothing to do with political inclination. The policeman carrying Lalu's slipper was not identified by Ramgarh police. He is expected to be one among Lalu's bodyguard from Bihar Police.

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