Suspension of top Kerala cop extended for 3 more months


Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 9 : Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday approved the extension of suspension of Inspector General of Police G. Lekshmana for another three months. Lekshmana is alleged to have close links with fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal. Chief Secretary V.P. Joy, who heads the committee of affairs of IAS and IPS officials, had given a note that the ongoing investigation against Lekshmana was not over and hence his suspension should be extended for another 90 days. Vijayan by virtue of being the Home Minister and one who handles files of the Central government officials accepted the recommendation and signed it. Lekshmana was suspended in November last year for his alleged close links with Mavunkal, who was then heading the Traffic Department and was all set to be promoted to the rank of Additional Director General of Police. Ever since Mavunkal has been arrested by the Crime Branch from his home-cum-'museum' at Kochi in September last year after victims approached Vijayan with their complaints that they were swindled of Rs 10 crore by this "master fraud", the name of Lekshmana and his alleged close links surfaced. When the case first surfaced in September, pictures of now retired state police chief Loknath Behra and serving Additional Director General of Police Manoj Abraham visiting the "museum" of Mavunkal at Kochi went viral. The court raised questions like -- 'how come these top police officials never thought of how a museum like this could function as the rules are very clear, and it also pointed out how the police set up a daily beatbox at Mavunkal's house and the museum'. Soon the probe went into top gear and statements from Behra, Abraham and Lekshmana were taken, and it was based on these statements that Vijayan suspended him. Mavunkal took all his high profile guests into his fold by showcasing antiques, which he claimed included the "staff of Moses" and "two of the 30 silver coins that were taken by Judas to cheat Jesus Christ". Police said that he also displayed a throne said to be used by Tipu Sultan, as well as a huge collection of old Qurans, Bibles (Old Testament and New Testament), and old handwritten copies of the Bhagavad Gita. Mavunkal used to bring several VIPs to his palatial residence, a part of which was converted into a museum to house his 'precious' antiques. Mavunkal since his arrest continues to be in judicial custody. /IANS


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