- Ms Roopa had alleged VK Sasikala getting VIP treatment in prison
- Also said bribes were apparently paid; senior rubbished the charges
- Was warned by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for speaking to the media
In a report last week to the Karnataka government based on her inspection of the central jail, Ms Roopa had alleged that Ms Sasikala enjoys an exclusive kitchen and other facilities. Her report referred to "speculation" that Ms Sasikala, jailed for corruption, had paid 2 crores for special treatment and Mr Rao could have been a beneficiary. The state government ordered an inquiry.
In separate press conferences, Mr Rao called her allegations "wild and baseless" and he was challenged to prove it by Ms Roopa. Their public sparring did them in, the Karnataka government said in a press conference.
The interaction of both officers with the media was "unwarranted and a serious violation of service rules," said the government. Mr Rao was removed and Ms Roopa shifted to "maintain the sanctity of the inquiry," it added. Mr Rao was to retire by the month-end.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accused of trying to cover up large scale irregularities in the jail, had earlier told journalists: "It is an administrative process."
"I expected this last week itself. It seems that the state government wanted to protect the illegal activities and is here to protect convicts," said Janata Dal Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy. "This is a very, very dangerous issue," said the BJP's Suresh Kumar, demanding a judicial inquiry.
In her report, Ms Roopa had also alleged that Abdul Karim Telgi, the kingpin of a multi-crore stamp paper fraud, was another inmate getting benefits in jail.
Recently, 32 prisoners who were vocal about irregularities in the prison were reportedly shifted to another jail in the dead of night.