Even as the political cauldron is simmering over a stand-off between an IPS officer and the ruling party, now an IAS officer has claimed that he is getting threats for raising public issues and pointing out the anomalies and corruption in the system.
Surya Pratap Singh, a 1982-batch IAS officer, who, like IPS officer Amitabh Thakur has earned the tag an activist, has been raising issues through social media and also by holding “chaupals” in different districts of the state.
“Suno Sirji, maar dalo par darao maat (Sir, kill me, but don’t threaten me),” Singh posted on his Facebook recently. He also uploaded some newspaper clippings that talk about government action against him for “violating service code of conduct.”
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Contacted, the officer said “Sirji” is a fictional character created by him. He said he addresses all his posts to “Sirji” and “it is upon people to interpret, who this person is”.
In the past, he had participated in protest by secondary education teachers and had also conducted raids to catch the alleged “cheating mafia network” during Board Examinations through his organisation Voluntary Action for Social Transformation (VAST).
Singh, who is Principal Secretary, Public Enterprises Department at present and claims to have been transferred seven times in past one-and-a-half years, also appeared on news-channels as guest during different shows.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan said that about a month back, state government had sought explanation from the officer about his “activities”, was still waiting for a reply.
Singh, however, denied having received any such notice. “I have not received any notice or charge-sheet so far,” the officer said.
He claimed that receiving threats has become routine part of his life. “I get calls from different landline numbers asking me to stop posting messages on Facebook or holding chaupals. Sometimes, there are people protesting outside my house shouting abuses at me claiming to be followers of some politician,” he claimed.
“All this is happening because a considerable section of bureaucrats have started identifying themselves on caste and political lines and have become servants of politicians rather than being public servants,” said Singh,
He said that as an IAS officer he knows his “boundaries very well” and have not defied them. “All the social work that I do is on my off days or holidays or I take leave. Moreover, if a minister can condemn work done by another government or even other departments of his own government openly, then why cannot a bureaucrat point out anomalies in the system while being a part of it,” he asked.
In an apparent attack at political leaders, he said, “They want you to kill your conscience to make you a part of the system. Young officers are enthusiastic when they join services. But later, everyone is groomed in such a way that they we supposed to do what our political masters want us to do consciously or unconsciously”.
Singh claimed that threats to him increased when he raised the issue of how the original route of 302-km long Lucknow-Agra expressway was diverted to “benefit people close to the Uttar Pradesh government in Etawah and Kannauj”. Some of the other issues that he has raised recently include selection of more candidates from a particular caste by UP Public Service Commission, and lack of compensation given to farmers, whose crop was affected in hailstorm.
“I will not stop. I have decided to now hold “dhawa chaupals” in every district to raise public issues on spot. I have large number of youngsters following me, who are ready to be part of these dhawa chaupals,” he claimed.
Asked if he has complained about threats given to him, Singh said, “Whom should I complain to? The calls come from different landline numbers. Sometimes, youngsters on motorbike would cross me using abusive language. All these are indirect ways to harass someone. It is for this reason, I wrote on my Facebook wall that they can kill me if they want but should stop harassing me in such manner”.