New Delhi: The Andhra Pradesh government has suspended  Director General of Police-rank IPS officer A B Venkateswara Rao for allegedly ‘endangering’ national security through his ‘acts of treason’ when he was state Intelligence chief during the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP regime.

Considered close to former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Rao, a 1989 batch officer, was removed from the post of Intelligence chief after the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government took charge on May 30 last year. Since then, he has not been given a posting.

Issuing an order, Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney placed Rao under suspension based on a report submitted by Director General of Police (Head of Police Force) Gautam Sawang, alleging “serious misconduct” in the process of procurement of security equipment.

“Rao wilfully disclosed intelligence protocols and procedures of police to a foreign defence manufacturing firm. This is a direct threat to national security as intelligence protocols are standard throughout the Indian Police Force”, the order stated.

It added,”Based on facts uncovered via investigation, prima facie evidence is established on the grave misconduct and irregularities, which were willfully committed by the accused officer resulting out of conscious and premeditated act of treason towards the state and the nation.”

The report also said Rao colluded with one RT Inflatables Private Limited, an Israeli defence equipment manufacturer, to illegally award critical intelligence and surveillance contract to his son Chetan Sai Krishna, who was CEO of Akasam Advanced Systems Pvt. Ltd. (primary bidder on behalf of RT Inflatables Pvt. Ltd.).

“This proves a direct co-relation between the accused officer and a foreign defence manufacturing firm, thus establishing a direct breach of ethical code of conduct and Rule (3) (a) of All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968,” the report added.

Earlier the ruling YSRCP had also claimed that Rao was behind the defection of nearly two dozen YSRCP MLAs to then ruling Telugu Desam Party.

(With agency inputs)