"I Am Being Harassed because of My Caste", says Dalit IAS Officer

The Jammu & Kashmir IAS officer has been transferred half a dozen times in the past year.
Dalit IAS Ashok Parmar
Dalit IAS Ashok Parmar

New Delhi— A senior IAS officer has accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of harassment and intimidation because he belongs to the Scheduled Caste community. According to the complaint made by the IAS officer, who currently serves as the chairman of the Bureau of Public Standards in Jammu and Kashmir, he was transferred more than half a dozen times in the last year. He has alleged a conspiracy against him. The opposition has demanded an impartial investigation into the allegations. The 1992 batch IAS officer Ashok Parmar has filed a complaint before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes alleging harassment and intimidation by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after he exposed large-scale irregularities in the Jal Shakti department.

Punished for Being a Dalit Whistleblower

Ashok Parmar, a native of Gujarat, belongs to the Scheduled Caste community and is a 1992 batch AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre officer. At present, he is posted as Chairman of the Bureau of Public Enterprises in Jammu and Kashmir. Ashok Parmar told The Mooknayak representative, "I have been harassed for a long time because I belong to the Scheduled Caste." He alleged that he has been repeatedly transferred because he exposed irregularities in the Jal Jeevan Mission of the Jal Shakti department and also because he belongs to the Scheduled Castes.

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The officer has also written a letter to the Union Home Secretary making the same allegation. He fears that the administration may falsely implicate him. In the letter, Parmar alleged that he was thrown out of two high-level meetings and humiliated in front of other officials.

According to the complaint written in a letter to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Commission, Parmar was on central deputation. He was sent back to the AGMUT cadre in March 2022. Subsequently, he was posted as Principal Secretary of Irrigation and Flood Control.

On May 5, 2022, he was transferred and posted as Principal Secretary of the Jal Shakti Department. According to Parmar, he was transferred to the ARI and Training department within a few months after he exposed scams in the Jal Shakti department.

On July 18, he was transferred to the Skill Development Department. In less than two weeks, on August 1, he was again posted as Chairman of the Bureau of Public Enterprises in Jammu and Kashmir. During his tenure as Principal Secretary of ARI (Administrative Reforms, Inspection) and Training, Parmar visited various districts and also initiated investigations against various departments.

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Omar Abdullah Demands an Impartial Investigation

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that the allegations against Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary A.K. Mehta by a Dalit officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) are so serious that they warrant an impartial investigation. The IAS officer has accused Mehta of harassment and irregularities.

The former Chief Minister claimed that such an investigation would never happen and the media has also completely ignored the episode. Omar took to X (formerly Twitter) to highlight the issue. He said, “The allegations are serious enough to warrant an impartial investigation, but we know that will never happen. Sadly, the news media has completely ignored this story. They are being kept too busy chasing Ms. World and other fluff stories. The lure of advertising rupees and the fear of summons to police stations have effectively silenced what was once a vibrant, free press in J&K.”

The Vice President of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference referred to news in a national newspaper, which said that IAS officer Ashok Parmar has filed a complaint before the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

Story Translated by Pratikshit Singh

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