When the media was speculating who was to replace Mishra as DGP, an abrupt order
came from the home department of Odisha for replacement of Mishra with Sanjeev
Marik, a 1981 batch IPS who held the post of special DGP, especially created for
It was only a matter of few days for the Odisha
government to relieve Mishra to join the union home ministry and put Marik or
anybody else as state police DGP. But the unexpected decision of shifting Mishra,
soon after he completed two years in the post, and posting him as OSRTC
CMD instead of relieving him to go to the centre obviously looked fishy to many
including a few insiders as well.
To many, who do not dare to risk with their career
by making an official statement in this regard, it looks like a clear act of
vendetta by the Odisha home department which is under the Chief Minister himself
and is allegedly run by an unholy nexus of a few cunning officers that makes the
coterie of the CM.
Earlier, as local media reported, Mishra had
requested for the state government’s clearance to be considered for a position
in the Union Government and his case was sponsored by the state government in
December 2013. But, shortly after the general elections, the state government
declined its sponsorship showing its inability to spare the services of the top
cop due to shortage of police officers in the state.
Now, the question comes, if the state police
department is really facing a scarcity of officers, how could it spare its
topmost cop to do nothing of his kind? Or, is it a step to humiliate and
obstruct the growth of an officer who has a record of efficient delivery
throughout his career, as DG, NDRF and DGP, Odisha apart from the other
assignments he handled that qualified him for a senior position in the central
The later one looks more relevant when some of the
facts of recent past are put on the canvass.
A BJD party insider, who never wanted to be named
in this context, said that Naveen Patnaik and his trusted officers were
disappointed with Mishra because of the strong police administration under his
leadership during the last general polls. The disappointment has turned into
vengeance after the overwhelming victory of the party smashing the opposition
parties to helpless sizes.
Claiming that a senior BJD MP has been assigned
the job to persuade the Union home minister against offering any position to
Mishra, the Odisha Sun Times further added that “the Naveen Patnaik government
has now embarked on an even more sinister course. The vigilance department, the
perennial hand maiden of the government, has been asked to dig up some old files
to implicate him in a case to further embarrass Mishra,” while quoting reliable
Pondering upon why the state government has been
so scared about sending Mishra to Delhi, the report in Odisha Sun Times said,
“Grapevine has it some IAS and IPS officers in Odisha perceived very close to
the chief minister apprehend that the hushed up cases against them could be
reopened once Mishra is in Delhi.”
As believed in general, it was the choice of
Naveen Patnaik to bring in Mishra as DGP, in July 2012, by shunting Manmohan
Praharaj because of the failure of police intelligence in giving information
about the alleged coup attempt by Pyarimohan Mohapatra, Naveen’s long-time aide,
on May 29, 2012. Naveen was on a London tour at the time.
“But it was not long before Mishra was
disillusioned and disappointed by the complete arbitrariness in the way things
were being run in the home department,” said a journalist Brahma K Mohanty in
his report ”Naveen home in disorder: Senior IPS officers unhappy playing
bellboys in Odisha,” published in the Current News.
Last year, Mishra’s name was shortlisted for the
post of Director General of the National Investigating Agency (NIA). But the
Naveen government refused to relieve Mishra leaving him without any option but
to wait till the general elections were over. But the state seems to be in no
mood even now to let him go to the centre for whatever reason and for
Going by the whole story, Prakash Mishra might
have been a victim of vendetta and a sinister design by a group of bureaucrats
who make the coterie of the Chief Minister, but it also exemplifies how
coherently, efficiently and objectively the state bureaucracy and police
administration run in Odisha where even the top cops have to face humiliating
This is perhaps the reason why many IPS and IAS
officers have opted to go on central deputation during Naveen regime and several
others are waiting for an opportunity for the same, as rumours fly in the
bureaucratic corridors of state secretariat.
The latest news is that the reigning chief
secretary of Odisha, 1980 batch IAS Jugal Kishore Mohapatra, may leave the state
shortly as he has been appointed as Secretary, Chemical and Fertiliser ministry
of the union government of India.