No resignation letter of suspended IPS officer Basant Rath received: Officials

‘Letter available only on social media’
File Photo of suspended IPS officer Basanth Rath
File Photo of suspended IPS officer Basanth Rath

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration or Director General of Police Dilbag Singh's office has not received any resignation letter of suspended IPS officer Basant Rath, a copy of which was posted on his unverified Twitter handle, officials said on Tuesday.

Senior officials in the Jammu and Kashmir administration said it was possible that Rath, a 2000-batch IPS officer, had only intended to float the idea of seeking voluntary retirement by posting a resignation letter on his unverified Twitter handle, "KangriCarrier".

Rath, who has been under suspension since July 2020, is facing disciplinary proceedings for "repeated instances of gross misconduct and misbehaviour, which have been brought to the notice of the government", officials said.

In the order of his suspension, the Union Home Ministry had said that "...during the period of suspension, Rath's headquarter shall be Jammu and he will not leave it without obtaining permission of Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police."

Efforts to seek reaction from Rath did not yield any result as he neither answered his phone nor replied to WhatsApp messages. Rath, who will be completing two years of his suspension next month, had announced his resignation through his social media accounts on June 25 hinting that he would join politics to contest elections from Kashmir.

"Politics is a noble profession," he had posted on Twitter as well as WhatsApp status and Instagram.

In his purported resignation letter addressed to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta and marked to Director General of Police Dilbag Singh and Commandant General Home Guard H K Lohia, Rath said, "I wish to resign from the Indian Police Service in order to be able to participate in electoral politics.

"Please consider this letter as my request for resignation/voluntary retirement and process it accordingly...," he had said in his letter dated June 25. Known for his controversial style of functioning, Rath was posted as Inspector General (Traffic) in 2018.

However, he ran into controversies and was often seen chasing offenders on the streets and indulging in heated arguments prompting the authorities to shift him to a nondescript post in Home Guards.

The action against the officer came a fortnight after he lodged a complaint with police against DGP Dilbag Singh citing "apprehensions about my life, liberty and bald head."

However, nearly two years after a court had restrained him from publishing defamatory material against six private individuals, known to the police chief, Rath tweeted on Tuesday, "Dear friends, if anything bad happens to my reputation and safety, Dilbag Singh (son of Balbir Singh), the IPS officer who has been the police chief in J and K since 31.10.2018 (Present Pay Scale - Level - 17), will be responsible."

Attempts to seek a reaction from Singh did not fructify as he was busy with preparations for the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra. Sources close to him dismissed the tweet as "yet another attempt of the suspended officer to gain traction".

Asked about Rath's resignation, the sources said they have not received any formal resignation letter and that the officer still has to face the inquiry that has been initiated by the Union Home Ministry.

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