Bhubaneswar: Flamboyant Odisha-born senior Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath has been transferred reportedly due to an online spat with a newly-elected Mayor of Srinagar couple of days ago.
Since the news of Rath’s transfer broke, love for the ‘Dabang’ Odia cop poured in on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“Alok Kumar, IPS (JK-1997), IGP Security, J&K is transferred and posted as IGP, Traffic, J&K vice Basant Kumar Rath. Basant Kumar Rath, IPS (JK-2000), IGP Traffic J&K is transferred and attached in the office of commandant General Home Guards/Civil Defence/SDRF till further orders,” read an order issued by the J&K government on Tuesday.
The netizens expressed their gratitude for the tremendous work he had done during his tenure to put the traffic system in the capital city in order.
The regional media reported IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath and Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu had a heated exchange on Twitter over the latter’s remarks belittling the importance of wetlands in the eco-fragile Srinagar city where rampant construction and land mafia pose a grave threat post the 2014 devastating floods.
Underlining the importance of wetlands, Rath had tweeted that only “a cabbage will think otherwise”. The comment didn’t go down well with Junaid who dismissed the jibe saying the officer was “unwell”.
After the virtual spat, rumours started doing rounds on social media that the IPS officer may have to pay the price for touching the nerves of Mattu who was photographed with BJP leader Ram Madhav in Srinagar on the day of his election.
However, Rath thanked his seniors, colleagues and citizens of Srinagar in his inimitable style. He took to Twitter to thank them.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/YZo8PbJb6j
— Basant (@KangriCarrier) November 16, 2018
Social activists from different parts of Kashmir on Thursday squatted near the Lal Chowk in Srinagar and urged Governor Satyapal Malik to revoke the transfer of Rath.
The activists carrying placards in support of Rath and against corruption chanted slogans against his unceremonious transfer.
The upright officer unpretentiously reacted to a media report recalling his Odia upbringing.
I don’t worry about the politically connected. My Bou always wanted to be like this. Bou means Mother in Odia. pic.twitter.com/S8Dn1WrgBl
— Basant (@KangriCarrier) November 15, 2018