Agartala, July 8: A top Tripura Police official was on Friday suspended from service on charges of allegedly misappropriating Rs 88 lakh meant for training of tribal and scheduled caste students in Odisha, an official said here.
"The General Administration Department (Personnel and Training) issued a notification suspending senior IPS (Indian Police Service) officer Joydeep Nayak after Chief Minister Manik Sarkar gave his assent," said a Tripura government official.
Nayak, a 1991-batch Tripura-Manipur cadre officer, was recently transferred from the post of Director, Tripura Fire Service to become Officer on Special Duty at the State Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development (SIPARD)
The state government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS: "Nayak was suspended following a report and request of the Odisha government. The Tripura government following the request of the Odisha government last month asked Nayak to report to the director (vigilance) of the Odisha government but he went to New Delhi and got himself admitted to a private hospital."
Nayak, who is currently absconding, had gone on deputation to Odisha from Tripura in 2011 and served in several positions. He returned to Tripura in January this year.
According to the Odisha government report, the embezzlement had taken place during Nayak's deputation with the Odisha Police. At that time, he was posted as Inspector General of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Protection Cell in Cuttack."
An FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act was recently lodged with the Odisha Police against Nayak and some other people and director (vigilance) of the Odisha government recently initiated a probe after the fraudulent act was detected by Nayak's successor.
"The Odisha government sanctioned Rs 88 lakh last year for the skill development of 6,000 SC and ST students. However, Nayak has been accused of awarding the contract to a Cuttack based private organisation without floating any tender," the Odisha government report said.
"The money had been spent and fake utilisation certificate had also been submitted within one month of the allocation without providing training to SC and ST students," it added.
The Odisha Vigilance Department already arrested five people including the cell's Additional Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Pradhan (who was then a deputy superintendent of police of the cell), for their involvement in the irregularities.
The Tripura official said that Nayek was supposed to become an Additional Director General of Police, but the Tripura government held the promotion after receiving a preliminary report of the Odisha government on the scam.
Incidentally, Nayak's innovation of registering police cases through I-click kiosks in Bhubaneswar exclusively for women had earned praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the conference of Director Generals of Police in Guwahati in December 2014.