Two Civil Servants Accused Of Graft Cry Caste Discrimination In Bhopal

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Two Civil Servants Accused Of Graft Cry Caste Discrimination In Bhopal

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Suspended IAS officer Shashi Karnawat sings a Bundelkhandi song at a protest against the government.

Bhopal:  Two civil servants from Madhya Pradesh could face disciplinary action after they joined a sit-in protest on Monday by an organisation for dalits and tribals against the state government alleging discrimination on the basis of caste.

Both officials are accused of corruption. They allege that the cases are a result of caste-based discrimination.

Suspended civil servant Shashi Karnawat sang a Bundelkhandi folk song alluding to the alleged discrimination at the protest organised by the Dalit Adivasi Forum. "For the government some are dearer than life while others get step motherly treatment. The government favours some and harasses the others," she sang in Bundelkhandi.

Gauri Shankar Sejwar Minister, Forest Department, said, "In Madhya Pradesh there is no Dalit official against whom there has been discrimination and there has been no harassment by the government. It is not right of them to go on a protest. If they have violated the model code of conduct then we will act against them."

The other official who participated in the protest, Ramesh Thete, is Secretary in the State Commission for Child Rights Protection. He was arrested in 2002 in a graft case but later reinstated by the Supreme Court. His grouse is that the state government has given its approval to the anti-corruption ombudsman, the Lokayukta to prosecute him.

Mr Thete said,"(For) 11 years I was in exile. I have spent all my saving in court cases. Why are you not giving me justice?"

Ms Karnavat is under suspension since September 2013 when she was Deputy Secretary of Sports and Youth Welfare in the state. She was convicted then by a lower court and sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined Rs 50 lakh. The court held her guilty of submitting worth fake stationery bills worth Rs 34 lakh. Her appeal is now pending before the High Court.

 

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