//Traffic cops to lose

Traffic cops to lose

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If ever the traffic cops in the city hoped to wear sunglasses, their bosses have dashed their hopes. The City Police have decided to return the 350 sunglasses offered by Rose Opticals in the wake of the controversy regarding the shady track record of the sponsor.

J S Prakash, managing director of Rose Opticals who sponsored the sunglasses, is an accused in two cases of foreign currency smuggling. The row surfaced after Prakash shared the dais with Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan at the function organised to distribute the sunglasses.

The Home Minister had subsequently ordered a probe into the issue. IG (South zone) Arun Kumar Sinha, who is probing the incident, is yet to submit his report to the DGP.

Meanwhile, there had been a planned move by a section of top officials to put the responsibility for the incident on Control Room Assistant Commissioner E Sherafuddin as a face saving measure. But this move was frustrated following the strong stand taken by an IPS officer, sources said.

It is learnt that Prakash had made the offer to supply sunglasses before City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham at a meeting to discuss the traffic problems on the Statue-General Hospital road where Rose Opticals is situated.

Sheraffudin was also present at the meeting. Moreover, he happened to be in charge of the refreshment committee of the function in which the sunglasses were distributed. Citing these reasons, attempts were made to put the blame on Sherafuddin and transfer him.

It is learnt that the proposal to sponsor sunglasses had come up before former Commissioner Balaram Kumar Updhyay also. But the offer did not materialise owing to unknown reasons.

Meanwhile, Prakash is learnt to have stated before the IG that he was personally known to almost all the top police officers in the city except Manoj Abraham who is new to the city.

However, none of the police officers informed the Commissioner of his shady track record. Prakash also said that he had delivered a speech at the function at the insistence of certain top officials. Moreover, the speech was written by some police officers, it is learnt.