Visakhapatnam: The Vizag police commissioner suspended two police officers on 17 April for negligence of duties.

The two suspended cops, inspector of police at the Cybercrimes police station V. Gopinath and sub-inspector N. Ravi Kumar, had, in 2019, been awarded the first prize in the best crime detection category. They had arrested a four-member gang led by a B.Tech dropout who had duped an MLA and a former legislator in Andhra Pradesh to the tune of Rs. 25 lakh by making spoof calls using the Internet.

Sources in the department said the two officers had passed on the call data of one person to another and the latter had started blackmailing the other. The victim met the commissioner and lodged a formal complaint. There were also allegations that a couple had come to the CI with a serious complaint but he had ignored them. They, too, sought help from the commissioner.

“The officers committed a grave crime otherwise the commissioner would not have taken action under the present circumstances,’’ said a senior officer. He said the commissioner let off several officers as they were under tremendous pressure due to the surveillance activities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another officer said the suspended CI was hiding facts and important cases from the commissioner.

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