Crime Branch to probe loss in Kerala Police IT project

The Kerala government has ordered the the Crime Branch to probe the nearly Rs 2 crore loss incurred by a Kerala Police IT project that was handed over to a now closed Bengaluru-based IT firm.

As part of a police modernisation drive, the state government had launched an electronic beat monitoring system in seven districts and a Bengaluru-based IT firm had been roped in to do the job.

The company had multiple jobs, including software, hardware and providing training, to do but at the end of two years it failed to complete the job. Kerala Police gave Rs 1.87 crore to the IT firm for the purpose.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told reporters that as soon as he heard about it, he asked police chief T.P. Senkumar to look into the matter.

“After the preliminary probe was done, he (Senkumar) has asked for a Crime Branch probe and the permission has been given for it,” said Chennithala.

This project was undertaken as part of central funding and when asked if he was willing to cooperate with a probe by a central agency, the minister said: “We will fully cooperate with any probe.”

CPI-M state secretary and former home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan demanded a vigilance probe into the issue, while BJP leader M.T. Ramesh sought a probe by a central agency.