The Kerala government on Tuesday night suspended an Indian Police Service officer after he criticised the state’s handling of the situation in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi, The Hindu reported.

Jacob Thomas, during a speech in Thiruvananthapuram on December 9, had said that the fisher community would not have been as affected if “corrupt officials had not looted” a post-tsunami rehabilitation fund. Thomas, a former Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau director, is reported to have said there was a total “break down of law and order in the state”.

Thomas was suspended for violating the All India Service Rules, officials told IANS.

After an internal inquiry, the Kerala government said Thomas’ comments were “prejudicial to the security of the state”, The Hindu quoted top government officials as saying. The comments were “aimed to exacerbate such feelings, which could have had serious repercussions on the law and order and peace along the coast”, the inquiry said.

Thomas said he was yet to receive his suspension order, but added that people who speak against corruption are “bullied into silence worldwide”, The Hindu reported.