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Yathish Chandra – The Pious Steel Frame of Kerala Cadre

Men in Uniform have time and again proved their caliber by heroic acts. Today, we see many of them heading the paramilitary forces, chief commissioners and dealing with chronic gangsters of the country. The job profile of an IPS officer is very challenging and dynamic; it requires a lot of commitment and dedication. There are a lot of police officers in the country whose dedication and the way of eradicating corrupt practices of mafias, politicians, civil servants, and government officials compel us to believe on the Police system of the country. One such decorated IPS Officer in the recent time is Yathish Chandra, who is winning hearts with his dauntlessness.

An Indian Police Officer from Davangere, Karnataka, Yathish Chandra is widely regarded as one of the most efficient police officer in the present era. He is also regarded as an honest officer who has unearthed many corrupt practices. He completed his school education from Sri Taralabalu Jagadguru High School, Davangere and graduated in B.E. (Electronics and Communication Engineering) from Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology, Karnataka. After graduation, he worked as a Software Development Engineer at Motorola India Electronics (P) Ltd. He then worked as a Senior Software Engineer with Hewlett-Packard. He worked as an IT employee in Cognizant Technologies for few years, before pursuing his dreams of IPS. Being a tech savvy Engineer, Yathish got inspired by the bravery of another IPS officer, Roopa Divakar who also hailed from Davangere. Chasing his dreams, in 2010, Yathish cracked UPSC (CSE) examination and secured 211 All India Rank.

A Not so Easy Journey so far:

A very inspiring and dedicated person, Yathish feels that Kerala is a place where police officers have more Power and Freedom to Act. Even though he is a native of Karnataka, he is well versed in Malayalam and is fully aware of the culture and functioning here. He considers Kerala as the best cadre, if a person can balance the situations tactfully. He believes that this is possible because of the Kerala Police Advanced Act 2010 which is quiet liberal than other states. He has got privilege of working under various districts of Kerala. He first served as the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Kannur from February 2013 to July 2013. He then, got transferred to Vadakara and served as Asst. SP from September 2013 to January 2015. Yathish then took charge as the Superintendent of Police, Aluva from January 2015 to June 2016. Followed by a brief transfer, in January 2017, he was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kochi. He then served as the District Police Chief of Thrissur district and took charge as the City Police Commissioner on May 2018. Yathish’s stint through various districts of Kerala has made him well aware of people and their problems.

Eye of the storm:

Yathish Chandra has always been controversy’s favorite child. The young IPS officer shot to fame in March last year when he baton-charged Left Democratic Front workers during a hartal at Angamaly, Kerala. He was loathed as a darling of the right-wing in the state due to this action.

As Chandra sought to play the controversy down and reiterated that he was only “doing his duty”, there was no escape for him from the social media scrutiny. While critics found Mr. Chandra to be a bully with a yen for theatrics, his supporters contended that he was a no-nonsense officer who did not believe in half-measures. The degree of controversy it raked up was such that at least three pages — ‘I Support Yathish Chandra IPS’, ‘Yathish Chandra Supporters’ and ‘We Hate Yathish Chandra IPS’ — were opened on Facebook. Soon after the incident, many people also demeaned Yathish with their harsh words. Sasi KP, noted documentary filmmaker, wrote on his Facebook page: “Justifying such actions (by cops) is not just a human rights violation, but also a crime. I am shocked by this public response. What bothers me most is the defence of the brutal police behaviour by a section of the society.” But, Yathish never pays heed to such sarcasms rather believe in giving best to the society.

Yathish Chandra is also the first officer in the entire Police Department to face the CPM’s wrath. He was described as a ‘mad dog’ by the veteran opposition CPM leader V.S. Achuthanandan. His brush with CPM activists did not go well with the newly appointed government, and the officer was transferred from the post within a month. But, he was brought back as the DCP of Ernakulam in January 2017. However, the controversies still followed him.

A police unit led by Yathish was involved in baton-charged protesters gathered at the High Court junction to protest against the opening of an LPG plant in Puthuvype on June 17, 2017. This police action brought Yathish Chandra under the scanner of the human rights body, when a seven-year-old boy named Alan testified against Yathish on charges of assaulting him. Yathish condemned the charges and said that people were only trying to frame him as a bad cop. The top brass of the police establishment justified Chandra, but to everyone’s surprise, Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan too backed him and said that call of duty mandated the lathicharge on protesters.

Knight in Shining Armour:

Yathish Chandra is often regarded as a police officer with guts and fearlessness. He has garnered huge social attention. After his various chivalry acts, many people applauded him in Social media lauding him as an “ Apt Officer for putting thugs in their right place”. In support of this IPS officer, fan pages such as ‘I Support Yathish Chandra IPS and Yathish Chandra Supporters’ have been opened in Facebook media with large number of followers and 9,564 and 5,662 likes respectively.

Often branded as the ‘Singham of police force’, youngsters feel that Kerala government requires police officers like Chandra to end the reign of hooligans and ‘vicious’ politicians.

Tech Savvy:

Being a Software Engineer, Yathish Chandra’s favorite pastime is to design softwares. He keeps himself upto date with the latest technological changes in the market and tries to imbibe them to the culture of police force for the betterment of the society.

Creative Genius:

Yathish Chandra is a creative genius behind the khaki Uniform. His Electronics background helps him to implement new applications to control crime. His ‘Spider Police System’ has gained much popularity among the force. This application is the first of its kind in India and has successfully used many times in Kerala. This spider police roam around in the rural areas to catch the criminals red- handed and this idea has gained much popularity. Yathish is also the brain behind the ‘Red Button’, which is a very innovative technology. This red button which is kept in front of Aluva Bus stand can be pressed for any kind of emergency like accidents, crimes etc. Once the button is pressed the message goes to S.P’s mobile and in 15 seconds to the control room. The information will go to the nearest Spider vehicle.

Man of the Hour:

Yathish Chandra is often considered as a good administrator having a human approach to every problem. For him, duty is a thrill and he never compromises on that. Due to this non- compromising attitude, he is popularly known as an efficient and charismatic officer who has pioneered many initiatives in the police department. He believes that police and the public can join hands to eradicate the evils of the society. Yathish also takes it as a pride to talk about the achievements of the police department. He claims that the riots have come down to half, house breaks and vehicle thefts also have reduced tremendously and overall crime in the city has reduced. He also indicates that the Traffic Jams are less but accident rates are on the rise.

A Street Thug:

From a street thug to a mad dog, this Pious officer has been called names for some years now, But, Yathish Chandra doesn’t let that deter him. People recognize him as a man who has the required guts and balls to take on the rampant political violence and hooliganism in Kerala.

Yathish is someone who loves to abide by the order of the Government, irrespective to his personal opinion and biasness. His latest stint in Sabarimala stands a proof for this. Yathish has taken tough stand to protect the Supreme Court’s order in Sabarimala. For this, he had to face scornful comments from both media and people. His logical questioning against a Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan for a written order irked Right Wingers. The dramatic conversations begin when Minister’s private vehicle is stopped in the Nilakkal base camp near the temple. In a video of the face-off between Minister and policemen that has been widely circulated, the minister is seen asking Yathish Chandra why private vehicles are not allowed. The officer explains that there are complications with parking closer to the temple as the grounds near the Sabarimala temple were washed away after the recent floods. This has led to the risk of landslides in the area. When he is unable to get through to the minister, Chandra offers to let the private vehicles pass on one condition. “Are you willing to take responsibility?” The minister quickly makes it clear that he didn’t want to “take responsibility”. “That is the thing here, no one wants to take responsibility,” Chandra says, with a broad smile on his face. The confrontation continues for some more time before the minister’s supporters get the message and back off.

Yathish Chandra also grabbed the media eyeballs when he arrested BJP General Secretary K. Surendran and Hindu Aikya Vedi chief K.P. Sasikala, who are believed to have fanned protests over the entry of women into Sabarimala. Reacting upon both the incidents, Chandra commented that “Basically, I am here to execute the orders of the democratically elected government. We are only doing our duty, without favoring or hurting any political party. Our aim is to make Sabarimala a peaceful space, a safe place for all devotees. We do not have any agenda.”

Man of Dignified Order:

Yathish Chandra is one of the brave and dignified officer who tries to bring order to the state through his valuable services. He has already taken lot of initiatives to make a change in the entire system because he believes that action can bring change. His dedication towards the rescue mission of Kerala floods was a commendable one. He actively volunteered in the mission starting from helicopter rescue, evacuating people from the flooded areas, cleaning of the houses to packaging of relief materials. Some of the recent initiatives carried out by Yathish Chandra were:-

• Organised women Self Defence awareness campaigns in Public Transports. This movement was carried out by women police officers who enlightened the importance that women should never consider themselves as weak and should retaliate to every abuses, be it physical or mental.
• Yathish initiated the ‘LEO- Law Enforcement Officers’, a 24*7 Police patrol team in Thrissur district, Kerala. The aim of ‘LEO’ is to implement Law and order, prevent crime by tracking criminals, and reduce the accidents and traffic congestion.
• He participated in the Anti-Drug campaign conducted in Thrissur, to make the youth aware of Drugs and their ill-effects. This initiative was conducted by Rahul Nair, IPS CP, Thrissur. A series of road shows, flash mobs by the college students all around the city was organized as part of this awareness drive.
• Yathish took part on various Cyber Awareness programmes conducted both in schools and colleges, where he discussed on cyber security. He said that Social Media or any digital platform, if used properly can help everyone to learn so much. He highlighted the negatives of cyber world which he believes would help the students to choose right path for the effective utilization of technology.
• He also keeps visiting tribal colonies to understand the situation and educate the people.
Recognitions:
• Yathish Chandra has won National award from K.P.S. Gill for his innovation in public security.
• Yathish also received the ‘Braveheart Award’ sponsored by the Government of Kerala, in lieu of his dedication towards Kerala flood relief rescue mission.

Cochin Herald
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Cochin Herald

All stories by: Cochin Herald