Kerala government suspended Inspector General of Police G. Lekshmana on Wednesday over his alleged ties to fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal. Lekshmana is the first head to roll in the case.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan signed Lekshmana’s suspension note on Wednesday, citing his alleged close ties to Mavunkal, who is currently in judicial custody. Lekshmana, who is currently in charge of the Traffic Department, was set to be promoted to the rank of Additional Director General of Police in January, but it is unlikely that he will be promoted after this action.
The name of Lekshmana and his alleged close ties have surfaced since the 54-year-old Mavunkal was arrested by the Crime Branch from his home-turned-‘museum’ in Kochi in September after victims approached Vijayan with complaints that they had been swindled out of Rs 10 crore by this “master fraud.” The Kerala Police’s problems were exacerbated by the tough questions posed by the Kerala High Court when a case involving Mavunkal was brought before it. The police were severely chastised by the court over the investigation’s progress.
Pictures of recently retired state police chief Loknath Behra and serving Additional Director General of Police Manoj Abraham visiting the “museum” of Mavunkal in Kochi went viral when the case first surfaced in September.