Two women officers, whose public squabbling has stunned the Karnataka government, were transferred without posting today after they both complained against each other to the state's top bureaucrat, the Chief Secretary.
D Roopa Moudgil, an IPS (Indian Police Service) officer, and Rohini Sinduri, who belongs to the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), were moved out of their departments in a shake-up announced this afternoon. D Roopa's husband Munish Moudgil, also an IAS officer, was appointed Principal Secretary of the publicity department.
Yesterday, State Home Minister Araga Jnanedra had warned action over what he called the "bad behaviour" of the two officers.
The ugly bickering escalated on Sunday when D Roopa shared private photos of Rohini Sindhuri on Facebook. She claimed that Rohini Sindhuri had violated service conduct rules by sending her photos to male IAS officers. She alleged that Ms Sindhuri had shared photos with three officers in 2021 and 2022.
"What does it mean when these kind of pictures are sent to male senior officials? This is not a private matter. I am publishing these pictures now because I was able to access it only now. If I had received it earlier, I would have published. This is not a private matter. I will take this up further. This is a violation of the code of conduct," D Roopa told reporters yesterday after meeting Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma.
Rohini Sindhuri said lobbed back the misconduct charge. "She is neither my boss, nor my senior, nor is she the government. She can't keep on questioning my professional decisions on the public platform. It is not proper for an officer. It's against the conduct rules," she told reporters.
She said she would pursue legal action.
D Roopa has now been removed as Managing Director of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation and Ms Sindhuri, as Commissioner of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Department.
During their unseemly back-and-forth, D Roopa had listed corruption allegations against Ms Sindhuri, who hit back, saying Roopa was driving a "false, personal vilification campaign".
"She collected photos from social media and screenshots of (my) WhatsApp status to defame me. As she has alleged that I sent these pictures to some officials, I urge her to reveal their names," Ms Sindhuri said.
"Mental illness is a huge problem, it needs to be addressed by medication and counselling. When it affects people in responsible positions, it becomes all the more dangerous. Roopa IPS has been driving false, personal vilification campaigns against me which is her standard modus operandi," she alleged.
The feud reportedly started when images of Ms Sindhuri sitting with Janata Dal Secular MLA Sa Ra Mahesh in a restaurant recently went viral. The two had several public fights accusing each other of corruption when Ms Sindhuri was posted in Mysuru in 2021.
D Roopa questioned why an IAS meet officer would meet a politician and suggested that the two had struck a deal.