Monday, October 07, 2013

Corridor's other NK Singh, Twitter buzz and "Memoirs of a CBI officer"

ON Sunday afternoon, when NK Singh was trending in social media site, Twitter, initial reaction of many was like this: What controversy has Rajya Sabha MP and Nitish Kumar confidant (also a 1964 batch retired IAS and former finance secretary) created now? But the buzz was around the other NK Singh, a former IPS officer who dared to arrest one of India’s most powerful politicians and ex-prime minister…
Indira Gandhi. In fact, people began to post comments on excerpts of Singh’s book “The Plain Truth: Memoirs of a CBI Officer” that was published over one and half decades ago. The high-voltage discussion on political interference on India’s premier investing agency CBI, that too on a cool Sunday afternoon, was triggered by a TV show named Pradhanmantri broadcast by a news channel. This 1961-batch IPS served in the CBI in two terms, and is still remembered for arresting Mrs Gandhi in October 1977. Soon after, Singh also prosecuted Sanjay Gandhi and VC Shukla in a relatively small case of disappearance of the reel of Kissa Kursi Ka, a veiled satire on the establishment produced by then Janata Party MP Amrit Nahata.
In his memoir published by Konark Publishers, Singh narrated how former prime minister Chandra Shekhar played a role in removing him from the CBI, as he was a hard-liner in a case related to Godman Chandraswami. The Godman was known for his proximity with Chandra Sekhar. Singh also ran into problems with then law minister Subramanian Swami, now a whistle-blower MP from BJP, over the same case. In the same book, Singh also mentioned how former IB director MK Narayanan (now West Bengal governor) took a jibe at him in a meeting with the then cabinet secretary. “Although a brilliant, dynamic and effective IPS officer, Narayanan’s total identification with the Congress(I) and Rajiv Gandhi was well known,” Singh wrote in his book.
Singh, a keen follower of socialist leader George Fernandes, is now the president of Samata Party founded by Fernandes. Singh’s profile in the party’s official site explains how his entire police career was “very traumatic”, but he “stood his ground firm on principles”. Singh was awarded police medal for meritorious service and resident’s police medal for distinguished service. He retired as Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development in 1997, and then contested the Lok Sabha elections from Bihar’s Madhepura constituency the following year. But he lost the electoral battle. He fought the elections again in 2004 and 2009, but could not register a win. “Like in his career in the police, his life in politics has also been full of turmoil and vicissitudes. Here too he has stood unshaken…” the official Samata Party site says.

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