Over 18 senior IPS officers in Gujarat are crorepatis, reveals RTI

G.L. Singhal and Chittaranjan Singh

It looks like the IPS officers in Gujarat are rolling in money!

At a time when a large number of senior officers are under the scanner for their role in the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, an RTI query has revealed that at least 18 senior IPS officers in the state are crorepatis.

In fact, Dr Vipul Agarwal, currently behind bars in connection with the murder of Prajapati, is one of the officers who own properties worth around Rs.1.35 crore, according to the disclosure.

The information tumbled out of the state home department, following an application filed by Mumbai-based activist Ramesh Joshi.

Speaking from Mumbai, Joshi said that while the state government had provided him the details regarding the officers’ immovable property, it has so far not given any detail about their moveable assets.”I have been told that the departments don’t keep details of movable properties,” Joshi said, adding that he has raised further procedural questions in this connection which are yet to be answered.

The RTI reply has revealed that former Kutch superintendent of police, Hare Krishna Patel, is the richest officer with properties worth between Rs.7.28 crore and Rs.8.30 crore. Senior IPS officer Vipul Vijay with property worth Rs.5.85 crore is the second richest while J.K. Bhatt is third with Rs.5.56 crore.

The acting director general of police, Chittaranjan Singh, has property worth Rs.2.66 crore while Pravin Sinha and R.R. Bhagat are worth Rs.4.05 crore and Rs.3.70 crore, respectively.

The list also includes officers such as M.S. Pawar (Rs.2.50 crore), D.S. Vaghela (around Rs.2.12 crore), Raju Bhargav (Rs.1.9 crore) and Ashish Bhatia (Rs.1.76 crore).

“This is not to say that all these officers are corrupt,” a retired IPS officer from the state, said.

“But one cannot refuse the fact that corruption is getting intrinsic in the policing system here.”

He added that there are three ways in which the police make money. “The first one is called Nazrana, which is the routine hafta or protection money that reaches the police stations periodically,” the officer said.

The second form is that of Zabrana and third is Shukrana. “Over the years, we have seen that most of the money is made in executive postings. People make huge payments to get executive postings as they are considered plum postings due to the monetary benefit that comes with it,” the officer said, adding that a posting in the intelligence department is often hated by IPS officers as the department does not provide scope for earning some extra money.

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