Indian Police Service officer D Roopa, who had alleged that All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader VK Sasikala had been given special privileges in her jail cell in Bengaluru, on Monday said she had declined the Namma Bengaluru Award, ANI reported. Roopa, who is now the Bengaluru Inspector General of Police (Home Guard and Civil Defence) said her conscience does not permit her to accept the award.

The Namma Bengaluru Foundation, funded by Bharatiya Janata Party-nominated Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, had shortlisted Roopa in the “Government Official of the Year” category along with seven other officials. This is the ninth edition of the awards.

“Every government servant is expected to maintain neutrality and equal distance from all quasi-political bodies and associations that have even the bare minimum political overtones,” Roopa said in a letter to the foundation. “Only then can a public servant maintain a clean and fair image in the eyes of the public.”

She said that such neutrality was even more important now that the Karnataka Assembly elections were coming up.

In 2017, Roopa had claimed that Rs 2 crore was exchanged between officials for providing Sasikala special treatment, and had alleged there was “talk” that former Karnataka Director General of Police HN Satyanarayana Rao had benefited from the exchange. Roopa, who was then the director general of prisons, was transferred by the Karnataka government.