A Dalit IAS officer Ramesh Thete said in Bhopal on Thursday he will commit suicide if his three demands were not accepted.
He told media persons outside the IAS officers’ guest house that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and a top bureaucrat were creating a situation for him that Rohith Vemula had to face.
‘There is a strong bias against Dalit bureaucrats’
Thete, secretary to panchayat and rural development department, alleged that there was a strong bias against the Dalit bureaucrats in the state administration.
His senior was not allotting him the work suitable to his post, he alleged, adding that he had to hold the press conference under a roadside tree as he was not allowed to organise it in the guest house compound.
“My first demand is that the notice served on me should be withdrawn by Thursday evening. Second, a case should be lodged against his senior, Radheshyam Julania, additional chief secretary of panchayat and rural development, for insulting and harassing me, and a CBI inquiry against him for the projects and dams undertaken by him in the past six years. Third, Julania should be removed from his present posting,” he alleged.
“The chief minister’s claim that he is a well-wisher of Dalits holds no water, as he and his coterie of bureaucrats don’t like the Dalit officers who hold their head high. Owing to insults heaped upon me, I have been left with no option but to commit suicide,” he said.
He alleged: “Although the alleged audio recording in which Julania openly told him he didn’t believe in parity was sent to the CM, the state administration, instead of taking action against him, slapped a notice on me, asking me to reply by July 19.”
“Why the chief minister is not taking action against Julania who has handled a budget of around Rs 30,000 crore in water resources department? Why there is no inquiry against him after two dams worth Rs 50 crore caved in at Panna district in the recent rains?” Thete asked.
“I’ve collected the evidence which you will get after my death. I have written in those documents about the reasons for targeting me,” he alleged, adding that it might be “my last interaction with media.”
Senior officer in CM office rubbishes Thete’s allegations
However, a senior officer in chief minister’s office rubbished Thete’s allegations and said, “Thete has been given India’s two important projects in the state: Swachch Bharat Mission and Mid-day meal scheme. How can Thete say Julania is discouraging him? And it is the boss who decides how to get the work done. The audio clip of Julania, which Thete has sent to us, has nothing offensive, not a single word.”
When asked whether the government was planning to take any action against Thete, the senior official said, “A show-cause notice has been served on him, and we are waiting for his reply.”
HT tried to contact Julania for his comments, but he was not available.
Support from class 3 staff
Five lakh members of the Madhya Pradesh Class Three Government Employees Association will go on an indefinite strike from August 12 if Radheshyam Julania was not removed, said association president Arun Diwedi who accompanied Thete in the press conference.