Staff Reporter

Two senior officers suspended over the last two months

‘Suspensions have created fear among IFS officers’

KOCHI: Peeved by the “unnecessary suspension” and “harassment” of efficient officers in the Forest Department, the IFS Officers Association plans to meet the Chief Minister and also the Forest Minister this week for airing their woes.

This is for the second time in the last two months that the Association is meeting the Chief Minister. It is the suspension of N. Balakrishna Pillai, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Thiruvananthapuram, which has provoked the Forest officers. Mr. Pillai was suspended from service on Tuesday following his report that the land earmarked for transfer to the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Ponmudi was forest land.

Mr. Pillai had given the report to the Forest Department in his capacity as DFO of Thiruvananthapuram.

“Mr. Pillai is one of the efficient officers of the Department and his suspension from the service for giving the factually correct report regarding the status of the land is certainly unwarranted,” said a leader of the Association who declined to be identified. Mr. Pillai was suspended from service after the government obtained an inquiry report against him by the Chief Conservator of Forest (Vigilance).

The Association leaders had met the Chief Minister two months back following the suspension of V. Gopinath, the then Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife). Mr. Gopinath was suspended from service on September 18 relating to the status of the Merchiston land.

“The suspensions have created an atmosphere of fear among the IFS officers and many are afraid to act, thinking that they will be victimised even for the legally correct steps they take as part of duty,” said a senior leader of the Association.