Andhra official probing liquor scandal transferred

Andhra official probing liquor scandal transferred

The Andhra Pradesh government has transferred a senior police officer who was probing the liquor pay-offs scandal allegedly involving some top politicians.

Additional Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) K. Sreenivasa Reddy has been posted as chief of coastal security. The orders of his promotion as inspector general of police and new posting were issued Tuesday night.

The development came as a big surprise for many as the probe by Reddy, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of 1994 batch, had led to the arrest of several excise and police officials and liquor traders during the last four months.

The ACB raids against liquor syndicates in various districts revealed the alleged involvement of politicians, including some ministers. The ACB probe has already triggered a political storm within the ruling Congress party with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s rivals accusing him of using the ACB to settle political scores.

State Congress chief and Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, who allegedly has interests in the liquor business, has even complained to the party’s central leadership that the chief minister was trying to fix him in a liquor scandal.

The ACB raids have widened the chasm between Botsa and Kiran Kumar Reddy. The wrangling has caused concern to the central leadership, which has summoned both the leaders to New Delhi Wednesday.

The ACB raids have revealed a nexus among liquor traders, politicians, excise and police officials. With support from the powerful politicians and excise officials, the traders are selling liquor at prices much higher than the maximum retail price.