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Former Kerala Vigilance Director Jacob Thomas suspended.The action comes in the wake of Mr.Jacob Thomas’s controversial speech at a function on December 9.

The Kerala government has suspended IPS officer and former Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Director Jacob Thomas from service.

The action comes in the wake of Mr. Thomas’s controversial speech at a function in Thiruvananthapuram on December 9, top government sources confirmed the development.

A fortnight-long internal enquiry by the government on Tuesday concluded that Mr. Thomas’s “criticism” of the State’s “endeavours” to rescue fishers lost to the sea in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi was “prejudicial to the security of the State”.

‘Statements inflammatory in nature’

In its order ((G.O (RT) no: 8044/17/GAD, dated 19/12/2017), the government said that it found that Mr. Thomas’s statements at a public meeting at the Press Club on December 9 were “certainly inflammatory in nature”. They were “prima facieaimed to exacerbate such feelings, which could have had serious repercussions on the law and order and peace along the coast”.

Mr. Thomas “had made some blatant and provocative comments against various activities, policy decisions, and functioning of the State Government in power”.

He “is reported to have commented that there is a total breakdown of law and order in the State. He alleged the government is not functioning for the poor, but the rich and corrupt elements and the people in power are compromising with corruption”.

The government said that in the “wake of the cyclone calamity”, Mr. Thomas’s statements had the potential to “create dissatisfaction and displeasure among people about the administrative mechanism of the State. They were “unwarranted and unbecoming of an officer of his stature”.

The order said that as the seniormost IPS officer in Kerala in the rank of DGP, Mr. Thomas had “damaged the dignity and decorum of the post he holds”. He was critical of “the rehabilitative measures initiated by the government for the coastal people victimised by the severe cyclone”.

Mr. Thomas’s statement that ”rulers are unpopular and cannot win the confidence of ordinary people is also unbecoming conduct and misleading too.”, the order said.

The government said Mr. Thomas’s conduct warranted suspension and disciplinary action under the provisions of rule 3 (IA) of All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) rules 1969.

The provision empowers the government to suspend any member of the civil service who has engaged himself in activities “prejudicial to the interests of the security of the State”.

The Government had examined the matter in detail, the order said, it found that Mr. Thomas’s conduct prima facie amounted to official misconduct and violation of AIS rules. He has been suspended with immediate effect and will be eligible only for subsistence allowance henceforth.

People who speak against corruption are bullied into silence, says suspended DGP Jacob Thomas.

(This copy has been updated to include the government’s statement.)

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