The return of Jangi

7 septembre 2023, 08:35


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Heman Jangi was transferred from the Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) where he was the Officer in Charge to the Police Training School in October 2022. He had been under contract with the CCID after retiring from the police force in March 2020. Mario Nobin was the police commissioner followed by Khemraj Servansing in June 2020. It’s unknown whether the relationships between these two commissioners and Jangi were cordial. However, several folks accused Jangi in June 2022 of acting like a shadow commissioner, particularly when Servansing was supposed to be boss. Servansing’s reserved nature allegedly allowed Jangi to give orders throughout the Central Barracks.

Jangi is a charming man in private. Many years ago, I met him in Washington, DC, when he came for a month-long Senior Leadership Conference at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, where I was then working. We went to the UN Headquarters in New York City together. During one of the field trips, he told me a lot about his passion for law and investigation. He undertook legal studies so that he could better himself and talk back to Queen Counsels (now King Counsels).

What’s certain is that the new commissioner Anil Kumar Dip and Jangi do not get along well. The former probably still harbors resentment over the 2011 arrest of his son and wife by ACP Pregassen Vuddamalay and then-Superintendent Jangi in a case involving embezzlement from the former Bramer Bank – an investigation that has recently intensified. The relationship was so bad that Jangi was transferred from the CCID to the Police Training School in Beau-Bassin on 26 October 2022. It was said at the time that the commissioner had done everything to get Jangi removed.

Now, Heman Jangi is back at the Prime Minister’s Office as a Senior Advisor. Although officially he will focus on national security and drug trafficking, there are rumors that he was brought in to keep an eye on questionable activities, particularly by the Special Striking Team. This unit, which was created by the commissioner, has been so embroiled in controversial matters that the government may have realized it poses at least a reputational risk to the government. That’s why the new Senior Advisor will be closely monitoring it.

At the Barracks and elsewhere, we’re told that Jangi has never gone to the extremes seen recently. This is true even if he was accused, for instance, of being behind the arrest of web activist Farihah Soobrattee Ruhomaully by 30 police officers in July 2020. In the coming days or months, we’ll see how police operations unfold to get a clear idea of the Prime Minister’s intent: does Pravind Jugnauth want to project a humane or ruthless image to the public as elections approach? And is this precisely what Jangi will be in charge of?