Transfer of Odia IPS officer Basant Rath creates ruckus in Kashmir

Flamboyant Odia IPS officer Basant Rath (Jammu and Kashmir cadre) has been transferred reportedly due to an online spat with newly-elected Mayor of Srinagar couple of days ago. Since the news of Rath’s transfer broke, love for the ‘Dabangg’ Odia cop poured in on micro-blogging site Twitter.

No police officer in Kashmir has in recent times been as warmly received as Basant Kumar Rath. The valley’s youth mobbed the IPS officer for selfies while commuters nodded at his eccentric means of bringing discipline on congested Srinagar roads.

So when the J&K government on Tuesday, November 13, suddenly shunted him out from the post of inspector general of Traffic Police, J&K, the anger in the Valley was nothing unexpected. “In the interests of the administration,” read the order that broke the news about Rath’s transfer just nine months after he took charge.

The netizens expressed their gratitude for the tremendous work he had done during his tenure to put the traffic system in the capital city in order. Social activists from different parts of Kashmir on Thursday squatted near the Lal Chowk in Srinagar and urged Governor Satyapal Malik to revoke the transfer of Rath.

The outspoken Rath has kept at his unconventional style even as controversy and commendations chased him. He vows to keep it up even if it may cost him his job as state’s traffic chief. “I don’t worry about the politically connected. My Bou (mother) always wanted me to be like this,” said Basant Rath.

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Odia IPS officer Basant Rath

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