Suicides and scandals rock Karnataka bureaucracy
In a video interview from a lodge in his native town of Madikeri just hours before committing suicide, 51-year-old Mangaluru DySP MK Ganapathi named Home Minister KJ George, his son and two top police officers - Lokayukta (ombudsman) IGP Pranab Mohanty and ADGP (intelligence) AM Prasad - as responsible for his plight.
Over the past two years, the Karnataka police and bureaucracy has been rocked by complaints of harassment by higher officials.
The simmering discontent within the Karnataka police department burst out into the open when police personnel threatened to go on mass leave protesting against the odds they were facing. Then came the resignation of Kudligi DySP Anupama Shenoy, alleging harassment from higher officials.
Such developments took an ugly turn when the Handibag DySP committed suicide after he was suspended for his involvement in a kidnap case. The last straw seems to the latest suicide of Mangaluru DySP MK Ganapathi, which raises serious questions being the ‘system’.
Let us have a look at the bureaucrats who have alleged that they were victims of undue harassment and pressure from the system.
The body of IAS officer DK Ravi, who was the Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, was found hanging in his house in Bengaluru in 2014. The brave officer was a nightmare to the real estate and sand mafia. After a state-wide uproar had pressed for a fair probe, the case was given to the CBI. Even after two years, the case is still being 'investigated'. The prevailing view seems to be that DK Ravi was paid with his life for being an honest, uncompromising officer.
Anupama Shenoy resignation
Kudligi DySP Anupama Shenoy resigned from her post after alleging harassment from the then Labour Minister Paramaeshwar Naik and her higher officials. Though her meeting with various political leaders have raised doubts that she might be looking for a political career, those who worked with her felt she was a fearless officer. She once even staged a protest against her transfer in January 2016, forcing the system to bring her back to Kudligi. However, she is currently an ex-cop.
DySP Kallappa Handibag suicide
Last week, Chikkamagaluru DySP Kallappa Handibag was found dead in his wife’s grandmother’s house. He was suspended for his involvement in a kidnapping case. But his family has made allegations that he was being harassed by higher officers. Currently, the CID is probing the case.
CM’s close-aid threatening Mysore DC
In what can be described as a classic case of pressure tactics, Mysore Deputy Commissioner C Shikha was threatened by former Zilla Panchayat president and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's close-aid Marigowda. Marigowda is accused of not allowing the DC to perform her duties. Though the DC personally filed a complaint against Marigowda, he has still not been investigated. Perhaps a sign of the strength of the 'system.'