MANGALORE: Call them by any name – internal affairs in FBI or special unit in CBI – they are loathed the world over. They are called the “rat squad” in the FBI. An internal vigilance division investigates incidents and suspicions of lawbreaking and professional misconduct by officers or agents. The Karnataka Lokayukta police are setting up a similar wing. Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao has approved the setting up of an internal vigilance unit.
While thorough antecedent checks are carried out on policemen joining the Lokayukta wing, there are instances of people such as Channabasavaiah, a Lokayukta police head constable who amassed Rs 55.25 lakh worth of disproportionate assets. Many senior officials in Lokyaukta police who have come under the cloud have been repatriated to their parent department.
The proposed internal vigilance unit, to be headed by a superintendent-rank officer, will have a staffing pattern that has been discussed in detail, says additional director general (Lokayukta) HN Sathyanarayana Rao. “It was the idea of the Lokayukta to have such a unit,” Rao informed . “We will present the Lokayukta’s proposal to the new government in Bangalore for it to take a decision.”
Admitting that few black sheep sneaked in despite care taken to select personnel for the anti-graft force, Rao said: “Through this unit, we are sending out a message to our personnel they are not above the law.” A feeling had set in among those posted to Lokayukta police that no one was watching them. Now, they will have to be wary.
“It is the fear of being watched by someone that cleanses the system,” Rao says.