All events of the Red Panda Winter Carnival in the state and the Jorethang Maaghey Mela  (fair) were suspended for a day today as Sikkim mourned the passing away of its former governor, TV Rajeswar. Rajeswar took over charge as the governor of Sikkim in November 1985 and held the post till March 1989.

Due to his earlier stint in Sikkim as Assistant Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB), he had close relations with the state and the people here, officials have said. “As one of the most popular governors of the state, he had a firm belief in establishing the rule of law all over the state by creating an atmosphere free of injustice, crime and fear.

His charismatic and endearing personality was truly admired by the Sikkimese people, state officials have said. Rajeswar was born on 28 August 1926 in Salem, Tamil Nadu, and after completing his MA in Economics from Presidency College, University of Madras, he joined the Indian Police Service in 1949.

Initially, he was posted to the erstwhile Hyderabad state and after reorganization of states, he was allotted Andhra Pradesh. He served as Superintendent of Police in the districts of Nizamabad, Raichur and Guntur, and as Deputy Commissioner of Police in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. In 1962, he joined the Intelligence Bureau as Assistant Director.

After serving in Sikkim and Bhutan from 1963 to 1967, he was posted as Deputy Director and Joint Director in the IB headquarters. In February 1980, he was promoted as the Director, IB, and held the post till August 1983, after which he took over as the Lieutenant Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, the first time an IPS officer was appointed to a constitutional post.

He later served as the Governor  of Sikkim, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. After 60 years in civil service, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, in 2012. One of the biggest tourism festivals in the state, the Red Panda carnival kicked off in Gangtok on 8 January, while it is scheduled to end on 18 January.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling inaugurated the three-day Maaghey Mela in Jorethang in South Sikkim on Sunday last. “While all official events were cancelled during the day, events that were scheduled for the evening were held as planned as it was the final day of the fair,” organisers of the Jorethang fair said.