‘Viral Cop’ IGP Basanth Rath Suspended

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer Basant Rath has been suspended for alleged instances of “gross misconduct and misbehaviour” with immediate effect, according to a Union Home Ministry order.

The order, issued on Tuesday evening, said the 2000-batch IPS officer was immediately attached to police headquarters in Srinagar.

Rath, hailing from Puri in Orissa and currently posted as Inspector General (IG), civil defence in Jammu and Kashmir has been asked not to leave the headquarters without permission from the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The order stated that disciplinary proceedings against Rath are contemplated in connection with repeated instances of gross misconduct and misbehaviour that have been brought to the notice of the government.

He has been placed under suspension with immediate effect, the order said.

The suspension order comes a fortnight after Rath sent J&K Police a written complaint against the J&K Police Chief Dilbag Singh, over an alleged threat Singh made to his life.

Indian Express had reported that Rath had addressed to the SHO of Gandhi Nagar Police Station in Jammu district and urged the officer to “take note of my apprehensions about my life, liberty and bald head”.

Rath, a JNU alumnus, has remained in limelight ever since he took over as IGP Traffic Kashmir. During his stint as IGP Traffic Kashmir Rath gained popularity among locals due to his unconventional methods to regulate chaotic traffic in Srinagar and other towns of the valley.

Rath was labelled “Singham” – after the iconic no-nonsense cinema cop – for his tough approach to traffic violators.

The MHA had then accused Rath of violating the All India Service Rules and had urged the then Mehbooba Mufti government to take “action” against him.

In 2018 MHA sought disciplinary action against Rath for his columns in national media outlets. Finally in November same year he was removed from the post of IGP Traffic in Kashmir and transferred to the office of the Commandant General, Home Guards, Jammu. This also followed a verbal spat between him and the then Srinagar mayor and Peoples Conference leader Junaid Mattu.

Lately he was active on twitter helping distribute free books among students aspiring to take competitive exams.

Rath in a couple of tweets after his suspension poked fun at his opponents.



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