Pramod Kumar IPS, a directly recruited IPS officer from Bihar allotted to the Tamil Nadu cadre, is finally behind bars. He was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation Wednesday afternoon at New Delhi. And a Coimbatore CBI court has granted him five days custody.
He has now to undergo the humiliation of interrogation in the very city of Coimbatore in western Tamil Nadu where he used to run amok with gay abandon.
The avowed protector turning a plunderer is not unknown in this state. Custodial rapes and killings are almost a regular phenomenon.
During the Veerappan saga, especially, helpless tribals suffered enormously, torture, rape and custodial killing came commonplace, with even the judiciary preferring to look the other way.
Pramod Kumar, a senior cop in the Tamil Nadu police administration, comes of such a notorious lineage. But he has been caught in the same quicksand where most of the police officers are caught – greed.
Paazeee Forex Trading. This name not only sounded ‘quick money’ but also lured thousands of greedy depositors who pumped in their money for a quick buck.
The modus operandi adopted by the firm was to collect deposits from a gullible public, promising huge returns. For example, a 50,000 deposit in the firm would yield a return of 1,40,944/-. Inevitably one fine day the chickens came home to roost for the unwary depositors – post-dated cheques started bouncing for ‘want of funds,’ and complaints poured in.
The Coimbatore police registered cases under various sections of laws against the Directors of Paazeee Forex Trading, Mohanraj, Kathiravan and Kamalavalli.
The directors, whatever their greed and crimes, at least did make an effort to settle some of the claims, but it was the Coimbatore police, under the august leadership of our Pramod Kumar that sought to stall the repayment process and lined their own pockets instead.
Kamalavalli, the woman director who underwent hell at the hands of the police, revealed in her complaint to a Magistrate that the Tiruppur Crime Branch set up a committee to peruse claims from depositors and stipulated that, refund be effected through that committee only – clearly by arrogating to themselves the veto power over refund, they were preparing to loot big time.
As weeks rolled, another twist in the story comes. A very generous police came forward to help out Pazee in ‘innovative’ ways. “We’re here, at your service, even if you are not in a position to settle the claims,” they sent word.
When paying up, do it the way we want you to. By way of acknowledging that you are indeed ‘law-abiding’ citizens, we can reciprocate the gesture by ensuring that the pestering depositors don’t trouble you too much – such was the message.
A little later Inspector Mohanraj bluntly demanded Rs.3 crore to close the case against the company for good.
In her complaint Kamalavalli says that when she spurned all demands and ‘offers’ of help from the police officials, they invoked the name of one Annachi.
Pray who is this Annachi? An accused in a forged passport case. He is called John Prabakaran. The case against John Prabakaran @ Annachi was registered by the CBI in the year 1991. Annachi jumped bail and a Non Bailable Warrant was issued against him. While the CBI was searching for the Annachi all over India and issued an alert, do you know where this Annachi was ? Right in the heart of Chennai, the state capital, holding an enviable position as President of Indo Polish Chamber of Commerce. He was presiding over functions and inaugurating numerous commercial ventures.
But his luck ran out in 2009 when the CBI picked him up. Again he managed to get bail. This is the Annachi who acted as an agent for Pramod Kumar in various shady deals.
Not knowing the power of Annachi, Kamalavalli still kept stalling. Now the velvet gloves were off. No more coaxing and cajoling or sweet talk offering to bail out the directors. Pay up Rs.3 crore else…The telephonic calls on the subject became more and more menacing.
Then on December 8, she was abducted, tortured and sexually abused by Inspectors Mohanraj and Shanmugaiah and DSP Rajendran for three days. “They offered me food, but I refused to take. I had only water. “
Even that caution didn’t help. She started becoming unconscious frequently. Perhaps something was mixed in the water she was given.
And when she became conscious they would flash some images showing her in various compromising positions and would threaten to air them all on TV and on the Internet.
Apparently she was also raped by Pramod Kumar and Annachi @ John Prabakar at the time .
On release after three days of illegal custody, she had to be hospitalized for sometime. Tirupur DSP Rajendran and North Police Station Inspector Dhanaraj visited her and warned her against making any statement on her ordeal to anyone.
Subsequently after reports appeared in the media about the foul play of DSP Rajendran and his men, the DSP was transferred out of Tirupur sub-division.
It was after the new DSP Raja took over that Kamalavalli lodged her first formal complaint, which was in turn forwarded to the Court.
In the second week of March 2010, the investigation of the case was transferred to Crime Branch CID wing. After the case was transferred, Kamalavalli might have hoped that justice would be done to her. Unfortunately for her Pramod Kumar was far more resourceful. With the help of the huge north-indian lobby in the state police, he ensured that the investigation gathered dust even in the new department.
All along his service in Tamil Nadu, Pramod Kumar was known for his Casanova-type adventures. Sources, who are in the know of things, say that right from his days as young S.P., he would insist that only woman constables are posted for guard duty at his officials residence
As soon as the news about the Paazee Trading scam broke in the media and depositors started thronging the police with complaints, Pramod Kumar found a ‘treasure trove’ and got into act immediately. He directed the investigating officers to closely liaise with Annachi @ John Prabakaran. When the investigating officers were not amenable, he brought his own man Mohanraj, who was serving as Anaimalai Inspector to Central Crime Branch. This Mohanraj not only he collected money for Pramod Kumar, but also delivered Kamalavalli herself on a platter to his god.
But what Pramod Kumar or Annachi or Mohanraj failed to expect was that a timid Kamalavalli would dare challenge them. But she did and her complaint resulted in the arrest of Inspectors Shanmugaiah and Mohanraj. DSP Rajendran managed to get anticipatory bail.
Mohanraj confessed, detailing the role played by Pramod Kumar IPS in the unseemly episode. His confession was also recorded by a Magistrate.
At this point every one would expect that Pramod Kumar IPS’ name would be included in the FIR, and that he would be arrested. But no, he managed to manipulate the entire CB.CID top brass in his favour and stay out of trouble.
For when he was transferred out of Coimbatore and posted as IG Headquarters 2009 he struck up a bond of friendship with the then ‘shadow chief minister’ of the State, M.S.Jaffer Sait,IPS. With such a powerful man backing him, there was none who could touch Pramod Kumar whatever the gravity of the charges against him.
CB.CID’s ADGP Archana Ramasundaram also fell in line. The Investigating Officer in this case, a DSP from Cuddalore, was ticked off when he started showing some enthusiasm in cracking the case.
It may also be noted that while the charges against Pramod were being hushed up, incidental and/or intended beneficiaries were the criminals behind Pazee. The entire case seemed to have been given a clean burial.
Thus our hero-cum-villain might have lived happily for ever thereafter but for the persistence of one of the bilked Pazee depositors. Eventually the High Court ordered the transfer of the case to the CBI, and then things started happening, resulting in the present denouement.
A question lingering in everyone’s mind is, why did Ramanujam, the current DGP of Tamil Nadu, reportedly an honest official, kept mum and failed to place Pramod Kumar under suspension, in spite of serious allegations of corruption and moral turpitude against him?
Is it the case that all IPS officers stick to each other in any kind of situation, never mind what happens to the rule of law?
That apart, it is still a long way to go in the case. Pramod Kumar might finally get his deserts, and the Pazee directors might be made to part with a portion of their ill-gotten wealth. Or they all might walk away scot free, using some loopholes in the law.
The struggle for justice in this case only goes to show that strange are the ways of law in this ‘Dharma Bhoomi.’