The Tamil Nadu Government on Tuesday appointed T S Anbu, Inspector of General of Police(Admn) as the new IG of Idol Wing of the Crime Branch CID in the place of controversial chief Pon Manickavel whose court-ordered one-year extension of service ended on Nov 30.
New Home Secretary S K Prabhakar issued the order appointing Anbu as the new head of the idol wing CID. Pon Manickavel was never the favourite of the Government as he brought to book many involved in thefts of ancient temple idols in the State, resisting pressure from the political establishment
He was superannuated on Nov 30, 2018 and asked to hand over charge to Additional DGP Abhay Kumar Singh who was made in charge of Idol Wing. Pon Manickavel refused and petitioned the Madras High Court for extension of service on the ground that his team was “sabotaged” from completing its investigation work. Thereupon, the high court appointed him as a special officer for another year to enable him to complete ongoing investigations. It directed the government to provide all facilities he needed.
When the new Home Secretary informed Manickavel last Friday that his extended tenure had ended and he should hand over all case records to Abhay Kumar Singh, he refused and filed a contempt petition in the high court. However, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed the contempt proceedings.
With legal hurdles out of the way, the Home Secretary has appointed Anbu as the new IG. Only the State BJP is upset over the exit of Manickavel as it fears it will be back to business for those involved in idol thefts.