Noted scholar and former IAS officer Dr Brahm Dev Sharma passed away Sunday at the age of 86. Sharma had recently played the role of a key interlocutor in securing the release of Bastar collector Alex Paul Menon from Maoist captivity.
He had been ailing for the last one year and was being looked after by his son and daughter-in-law. He breathed his last at his residence in Gwalior. The last rites were performed on Monday.
A PHD in mathematics, Sharma had joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1956. As the Bastar District Collector in undivided Madhya Pradesh, he was credited with launching a slew of welfare schemes for the well-being of tribals in the area.
“His contribution and commitment to the cause of tribal rights was immense,” said CPM secretary Badal Saroj.
He resigned from government in 1981. Following this, he took over as vice-chancellor of the North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong in Meghalaya. After holding that post for five years, Sharma served as commissioner of the National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission in 1986.
After retiring from the post in 1991, he went back to Bastar and began a movement for tribal rights. Till his last days, in and out of the government, Sharma remained a relentless advocate of tribal rights. He was among the interlocutors who played a vital role in the release of the then Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon, who was kidnapped by Maoists in April 2012.