IAS officer who drowned in a Delhi pool was an ace swimmer, served in Himachal police

Updated on May 31, 2017 12:40 PM IST

Ashish Dahiya’s family members say he was an ace swimmer and once swam across the Bhakra Nangal dam. A fortnight ago he had also won the director’s gold medal.

In this undated photo taken from Facebook, Ashish Dahiya is seen with Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh.
In this undated photo taken from Facebook, Ashish Dahiya is seen with Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh.
Hindustan Times | ByShiv Sunny, New Delhi

Had Ashish Dahiya not drowned in a swimming pool late on Monday night, the IAS probationer of the Jammu & Kashmir cadre would have begun serving as an assistant collector in Srinagar from Thursday.

Seen among the “brightest” in his 2016 IAS batch, Dahiya had been awarded the director’s gold medal at the end of his training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie earlier this month.

But 30-year-old Dahiya’s journey to this coveted job was not an easy one. Having graduated from an engineering college in Haryana in 2008, Dahiya worked with Bharat Petroleum before a job as a bureaucrat caught his interest.

He went on to crack the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission exam and worked as a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in different parts of the state for three years before taking a shot at the civil services.

“He had the reputation of an upright and honest officer during his days as a police officer,” said his uncle Kuldeep Singh.

Serving as a police officer, he prepared for the UPSC exam. In 2013, he bagged the 411th rank to get into the Indian Revenue Services (IRS). But his eyes were on the top IAS job.

Even as he trained as an assistant commissioner with the Customs and Central Excise department, he continued to prepare to take another shot at the UPSC exam. “He was a laborious student who found time to study without compromising on his work,” said his brother, Surender.

In 2016, he bagged the 53rd rank to live his IAS dream. His training at the Mussoorie academy came to an end early in May. He and his batchmates reached Delhi for a get-together last week.

It was during the party at the Foreign Service Institute on Monday night that his body was found floating in a swimming pool next to which Dahiya and his friends were partying. Police have said he must have drowned while trying to save a woman officer, who had accidentally slipped into the pool.

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