Suspended IAS officer Shashi Karnawat on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding a probe into the alleged atrocities on Dalits in the state during the tenure of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. She also sought an inquiry into the properties acquired by bureaucrats close to Chouhan.
In her two-page letter, Karnawat, a Dalit, said the CM was anti-Dalit and that she had been implicated in a false corruption case. She alleged that another Dalit IAS officer Ramesh Thete was also facing atrocities.
Karnawat said Chouhan liked only those Dalit officers who didn’t raise their voice and behaved like his slave.
Appreciating the PM’s initiatives against corruption and black money, Karnawat said many bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh had been posted on creamy positions for years, and demanded that such officers be removed and their properties investigated.
In 2013, Karnawat was sentenced to five years in jail by the Mandla district court in a corruption case (zila panchayat printing scam of 1999-2000). Since then she has been under suspension.
Karnawat, who had been promoted to the IAS in 1999, was deputy secretary in the youth and sports welfare department before the suspension.
In January this year, Karnawat and Thete participated in a dharna, organised by a Dalit adivasi forum, accusing the state government of bias towards officers from the SC and ST community. Later, she announced her plan to end her life by taking ‘jal samadhi’ (drowning) in Narmada River in Khandwa district, pressing for her demand of reinstating her and higher wages during the suspension period.
In July, she wrote a letter to the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, seeking permission for euthanasia, saying she had been left with no other option.
“Shashi Karnawat has been convicted by court. She moved the high court against the judgment. The high court has stayed the sentence but (has) not (dropped) the charges against her. Hence, the charges against her still stand. She is levelling baseless and scandalous allegations against the CM and bureaucrats. Any inquiry is welcome. If she is acquitted by the high court in future, the state government will look into her demand,” said SK Mishra, principal secretary to the chief minister.