Oommen Chandy justifies Jacob Thomas’ removal from Fire Force

Oommen Chandy

Hours after KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran expressed unhappiness over the removal of Jacob Thomas from the post of Fire Force DGP, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has come out defending the move.

Making it clear that the decision to remove the officer from the top post was taken by the State Cabinet, Chandy said neither Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala nor Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali had any role in the decision.

The Chief Minister said certain decisions by Jacob Thomas had put the government on the defensive.

“Jacob Thomas denied permission to constructing flats citing lack of skylift facility. It is the government’s responsibility to install skylift in flats. The people can’t be blamed for government’s fault. Permission for building flats without skylifts was given during V.S. Achuthanandan-led LDF government’s regime too,” Chandy said.

Chandy alleged that the officer denied people of the services they expect from fire force.

Jacob Thomas had issued a circular prohibiting use of fire engines for purposes other than rescue operations. He was removed from the post on Wednesday by the cabinet.

Earlier in the day, Sudheeran said government should not invoke unnecessary controversies with decisions that cast a shadow over the glory of the triumph in Aruvikkara by-election.

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