Kerala DGP writes from the heart on his retirement
01/07/2021 12:41:37 PM Sanchita Palit 757
By Loknath Behera, IPS: It is with a heavy heart and an immense relief that I write my last letter to you after remaining about 36 years in the Indian Police Service (IPS) or 12,973 days, precisely, and serving in the Government of India and the State Government of Kerala which included stints in CBI & NIA for 16 years, as chiefs of Fire Force, Prisons, Vigilance and Police that I would be bidding farewell to you upon my superannuation on June 30, 2021, as Director General of Police and the Kerala State Police Chief.
I say, with a heavy heart, because I am going to miss service with each and every one of you; an immense relief, because even indefatigable workaholics also feel the need for a break from the regular rigours of vigilant work that form the core of Local Law Enforcement.
I never cease to marvel at the long and eventful journey I have had in public service. For a small town boy from Puri, Odisha, who did not even know what an IPS Officer does, it is unbelievably amazing to travel so far and reach the highest position in Police in the most educated and demanding State in India, Kerala - God's Own Country. That, this journey was good is a testament to the continuous support, assistance, co-operation, guidance, love affection and goodwill that I have received from you; and I am grateful to you for this. Words can never capture the deep gratitude I owe to you.
I have found during certain moments that heading Kerala Police is more difficult than working in it, because as the head, final responsibility for any failing rests with me and it cannot be shifted anywhere else. But I have also found during this time, leading the force was easy because of your continued support. It was in this ease that I have savoured the honour. I shall always, in a sense, remain in your eternal debt. Nothing that I say to you can ever express the deep gratitude that I feel for you during my tenure that has raised the stature of the Kerala Police higher by a few notches than it was when I took over as the Chief, five years ago.
If I was able to be the Chief of Kerala Police for almost 5 years (or 1800 days to be precise); it was only because of your continuous supportiveness for improvising and innovating the quality of service, where reforms required more time and budgeting, and updating, versatilising and reforming services, where ever possible: multiple aspects of Policing; harnessed the indefatigable potential of Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain and Robotics to derive neutral Law Enforcement, streamlining Investigation with SOPs, and integrating new methodologies and paradigms in Policing. We have protocolised Investigation and Prosecution for Local Police Stations, Crime Branch, Anti-Terrorism Squads and have brought out Manuals/SoPs in a holistic, realistic and futuristic manner. We have published a "Vision 2030" Document for Kerala Police, “Institutional History of Kerala Police” and the "Candid" first ever Cof fee Table Book of Kerala Police. We gave promotions to the highest number of Police Officials. We infact touched every aspect of policing.
It was our commitment to a transformative institutionalization of various Law Enforcement functions that made the Kerala Police in the efficient seamless management of unforeseen and unforeseeable natural disasters like Okhi, Kerala Floods 2018, Covid-19 pandemic waves in 2020 and 2021 have now become part of history. Our model of “Participatory Supervision” has provided dividends. We have managed to avoid Group Think, while being team-spirited. Inputs are obtained from all, and the best are selected from a careful objective rational process and then protocolised for implementation in the field. During the uncertain days of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kerala Police prepared for continuity in institutional functioning. Today, Kerala Police is the envy of all States as we gave “Kerala Model of Pandemic Policing” to the world. It's committed multi-dimensional capacity-building, field-based,object-linked, outcome-oriented, competence-nurturing has produced an efficient public-centric result-oriented Law Enforcement Service institution. It is not for nothing that Kerala Police has been rated as the No.1 Police Force in the country by “India Today” in 2021.
I readily admit that, like every other human being, I too had my limitations and as a public servant, I have realized this painful fact, and tried to overcome; sometimes, with success, sometimes with failure. But, I have no regret or remorse for these failings because I have never knowingly committed any act, and to overcome such failures, I have tried to think better and work harder. I never tire telling colleagues & others - even at the risk of repetition - that “to be a successful Police Of ficer one has to be a good human being”. I have always applied this invincible “mantra” in all my public-related duties. But, above all, I am blessed to have had the continuous support and encouragement of serving and retired colleagues these past 36 years; and you stood always with me.
The opportunity for working in the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Investigation Agency, for several years, provided me the invaluable exposure to the depths of Law Enforcement that only the fortunate few get in life; I interacted with the finest professional Law Enforcement Officers, the best legal luminaries, the latest investigative and forensic science technologies in India and at least forty countries in the world which I visited. It is this experiential knowledge that I have tried to incorporate in an institutionalised manner in the functioning practices of Police in India. I wish I could have incorporated more.
I would like to place on record a fact that is deeply embedded in the best part of my heart; that I can never forget that my professional life was immeasurably enriched by the relevant practicable and worldly-wise ideas, thoughts, suggestions of you.
If I leave my Office with a certain sense of contentment, even fulfillment, it is only because of each and every one of the serving and retired colleagues of mine these past 36 years. I never could foresee or foretell that I would have such a fulfilling future of 36 years when I was a boy in a small town riding my father's bicycle to a small school. The ways of God the Almighty are impenetrably mysterious.
I unhesitatingly apologise for anything that I did to you that may have caused anguish to you. Believe me when I say this; it was entirely unintentional and done in the heat of pressure of exigencies.
This hastily dictated farewell letter and this expression of thanks to you do not in any manner acquit me from any of my obligations to you and the great institutions and organizations I have worked in. I shall always be available to be of any assistance to you at any time. It has been such a multi-variate pleasure working in association with you all these years that parting with you now is a deep pain for me. I would not have been able to endure this if not for some help from my retired friends and family members who have prepared me for the inevitability of retirement and old age. They have reminded me in different words on various occasions that there is a time for everything in the service - entry, promotions, transfers, honours, elevations and, eventually, yes, “exit”. I have understood that the only thing that remains constant in life is: CHANGE. After I leave you behind over here, I shall relieve my parting pains with the weighty burden of my conscious thoughts containing you; you. Yes, you.
May the God Bless you better than he has blessed me.
With all my best wishes, regards, compliments from the depth of my heart.