Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has dismissed Popular Front of India (PFI) chairman O.M.A. Salam from the service. He was the Senior Audit Officer in KSEB’s Mancherry Regional Audit Office. He has been under suspension since December 14, 2020. There were several allegations against him, including foreign trips sans Board’s permission and violation of the service rules.
For the first six months he got subsistence income, that is 50% of the salary. According to the service rule, the enquiry can be completed by that time. If the enquiry is not completed within six months, he is entitled to have two third of his salary until the enquiry is completed. In Salam’s case, enquiry has been prolonging indefinitely. Therefore, Salam has been drawing Rs 67,600 per month since the completion of the first six months. In other words, he has reportedly drawn Rs 7,84 lakhs until August 2022. It has been reported by an online Malayalam channel that this amount has been mentioned in his Income Tax Return. We had reported this late last week. We had also expressed our suspicion about the deliberate government move to prolong the enquiry to help the PFI terrorist leader.
Now Salam has been dismissed in the light of the ban imposed on PFI and his arrest in connection with the nation-wide raids. He is in NIA custody at the moment. Vigilance enquiry has been going on against Salaam. He was served showcase notice in August 2022 as a part of procedures to dismiss him. He moved the Kerala High Court to get relief, but in vain.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that NIA has informed Kerala State Police Chief about 873 Kerala Police functionaries having links with PFI. Accordingly, the policemen and top officers working under Kerala Police’s Special Branch, Intelligence and Law & Order are reportedly under the surveillance of NIA. They are alleged to have leaked the details of Police movements, raids, etc. to PFI. Central agencies have been collecting details of the financial transactions of the listed civil police officers, sub-inspectors, Station House Officers, etc.
People of Kerala see Salam’s dismissal as a belated action from the side of Government of Kerala. It looks like, LDF regime led by CPM tried their best to help him, but, turned helpless after the union government’s bold step to ban the terrorist outfit. Reactions of the LDF leaders after the ban are typical evidences for this argument. CPM state secretary M.V. Govindan said that ban is not a solution. On the other hand, he demanded ban on RSS. CPI leaders echoed it. There are reports of CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s advice to the top bureaucrats and police brass in the state not to be in haste in sealing the offices of the banned PFI. Delay in sealing the offices gave ample time to the PFI men to remove the files, arms and weapons. Then came reports that weapons had been transported to Tamil Nadu.