A Dalit IAS official on Monday alleged that the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta had registered cases against him with the “ill-intention” of harassing him, and threatened to end his life going on a fast if the government acted against him. “I will end my life by giving up food and water,” said Ramesh Thete, addressing a meeting of Dalit-Adivasi Forum, Madhya Pradesh.
“Just because I am a Dalit, I have been targeted since 2002. In the last 10 years, I have faced 10 cases and in nine of these I was given a clean chit,” Mr Thete said.
Lokayukta had registered a case against him suo motu when he was an Additional Commissioner in Ujjain.
“It was alleged that I have freed the land of farmers from Ceiling Act, causing a huge loss to the government. In similar matters against higher caste officials, no cases were registered by the ombudsman despite the fact they also acted in the same fashion,” he claimed.
Lokayukta had given clean chit to several ‘dishonest’ officials and Ministers while he was being targeted because he is a Dalit, he said.
Lokayukta officials could not be contacted for comments.
The Convener of the Forum, Mohanlal Patil, said: “BJP, which considers itself champion of Hindus, is not behaving in a just manner with Dalits and tribals because of which a Dalit IAS officer in Rajasthan (Umrao Salodia) embraced Islam.”
Shashi Karnwat, a woman Dalit IAS officer, who is under suspension in a case, also spoke.
Ramesh Thete and Shashi Karnavat joined a dharna under the banner of Dalit Adivasi Forum here to protest against the alleged discrimination and to demand reservation in postings.
The allegations follow the government’s recent move to sanction Thete’s prosecution for allegedly selling a piece of government land two years ago.
Thete refuted the charges and called it is a conspiracy of upper caste officers. “I wrote several letters to chief minister and the chief secretary saying the permission to prosecute me was illegal as the Madhya Pradesh high court had ordered status quo in the matter,” he said. “But neither chief minister nor CS considered my requests.”
He accused officials close to chief minister of harassing dalits and said the BJP government had intentionally delayed his promotion.
Thete claimed Lokayukta was biased in prosecuting bureaucrats and warned he would expose several officials, who were saved in controversial cases. “I will expose them at the right time.”
He denied violating service rules by joining the dharna saying he can be a member of the forum.
“If government issues a notice to me in the name of violating code of conduct, I will go for fast unto death.”
Karnavat was promoted to IAS in 1999 and has been under suspension since an anti-corruption court sentenced her to five-year imprisonment in 2013
Source- TOI and The Hindu