He is one of the longest-serving police chiefs in the State
State Police Chief (SPC) Loknath Behera will retire from service on Wednesday. He completes five years as SPC, making him one of the longest-serving police chiefs in Kerala.
Mr. Behera had the unique opportunity of heading the law and order and the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) simultaneously. In addition, he served as Director-General, Prisons and Correctional Administration, and head of the Fire and Rescue Services.
Mr. Behera headed the force during its most trying times. First, the catastrophic floods in 2018 and 2019 and later the COVID-19 pandemic impelled lockdown had tested Mr. Behera’s leadership mettle.
The SPC had also taken a proactive role in ridding Kerala’s forests and tribal areas of armed Maoist influence.
However, the area domination operations launched in forests contiguous to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka resulted in gun battles, resulting in suspected Maoists’ deaths. The incidents earned Mr. Behera criticism from the Congress, the Communist Party of India and various human rights organisations.
Mr. Behera brought immense investigation experience to his office. He had investigated Purulia arms drop case, IC-814 hijacking case, Mumbai serial blast case, Madhumita Shukla murder case, Satyendra Dubey murder case, Sanjay Ghosh abduction case, Ujjain serial murder case and Haren Pandya murder case.
The SPC was one of the founding members of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He was also instrumental in modernising the Kerala police, equipping it with modern vehicles and state-of-the-art small arms and non-lethal weaponry.
Mr. Behera had joined the Kerala cadre as ASP, Alappuzha. The Kerala police will bid farewell to its outgoing chief at a ceremonial parade at the SAP camp ground at Peroorkada at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
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