Two Dalit IAS officers allege caste bias in Madhya Pradesh

IAS officers Ramesh Thete and Shashi Karnavat alleged that the state government was quick to penalise them while ignoring similar misconduct by officers belonging to upper castes.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: January 12, 2016 4:24 am

Days after a Dalit IAS officer in Rajasthan converted to Islam as protest against discrimination, two Dalit IAS officers in Madhya Pradesh have accused the state government of discriminating against them on caste lines.

IAS officers Ramesh Thete and Shashi Karnavat alleged that the state government was quick to penalise them while ignoring similar misconduct by officers belonging to upper castes.

An officer of the 1993 batch, Thete Monday announced that he would take part in a dharna by Dalit Adivasi Forum (DAF) on January 11 in Bhopal to protest against the alleged discrimination against SC members, including bureaucrats, and tribals.

The government had recently given permission to prosecute the controversial officer against whom complaints were pending before the Lokayukta in connection with alleged illegal disposal of land when he was posted in Ujjain as additional commissioner two years ago.

Thete alleged that the charges against him were a result of conspiracy by upper castes and that he had written protest letters to the chief minister and the chief secretary. On Monday, he shot another letter to the chief secretary, claiming that the permission to prosecute him was illegal because the high court had ordered status quo in the matter.

Shashi Karnawat, who was promoted to the IAS in 1999, has levelled similar allegations against the government. Karnawat, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment by an anti-corruption court in Mandla in 2013, is under suspension since then.

Mohan Patil of the DAF, who is also the national office-bearer of Republican Party of India, told reporters that complaints were pending against 18 upper caste IAS and IPS officers with the Lokayukta in MP but sanction to prosecute was given only in Thete’s case. Patil later said the DAF planned to hold a protest in front of the RSS office in Nagpur if its demands to ensure justice for Dalits and tribals were not met.