Nine days of Delhi dharna: a recap

We are shouted at and threatened, say officers

(L-R) IAS Officers Varsha Joshi, Manisha Saxena and Jaidev Sarang addressing the media.

(L-R) IAS Officers Varsha Joshi, Manisha Saxena and Jaidev Sarang addressing the media.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

An IAS association on Sunday said that officers are being “threatened” and “do not feel safe anywhere” since the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence in February.

IAS officers of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories) cadre held a press conference on Sunday to tell their side of the story in their ongoing tussle with the Aam Aadmi Party government.

Refuting claims of the Delhi government that IAS officers are on strike, the association said that a lot of misinformation was being spread about them as they are not on strike and all their officers are at work.

The officers, however, admitted to not attending ‘routine’ meetings called by the Ministers where they “do not feel safe”.

Varsha Joshi, Delhi Transport Commissioner, said: “We are called and threats are made. We are shouted at, threats of physical harm are made… I have been threatened. Someone said ‘main Varsha Joshi ka sir phodwa dunga [I will get Varsha Joshi beaten]’”.

If people can misbehave with the Chief Secretary of the State — who has a security staff — then who is safe, asked Manisha Saxena, the association’s secretary.

She said, “We all are in our offices doing our work, conducting inspections and everybody is working with utmost sincerity and dedication” adding that the “abnormal situation” led them to address the press and clarify their stand.

Within hours of the press conference, Mr. Kejriwal took to social media where he assured that he “will ensure their [the officers] safety and security”.

We are family, says CM

“The officers are a part of my family. I would urge them to stop their boycott of the elected government, return to work now and start attending all meetings of Ministers, respond to their calls and messages and join them for field inspections,” said Mr. Kejriwal.

The officers categorically refuted several allegations made against them by the AAP government. They denied that the secretaries in the Delhi government are not answering phone calls of Ministers and MLAs.

They said that none of the calls go unanswered. “Even if we are unable to receive a call, we call them [MLAs and Minister] back. As officers, we are bound to reply to the calls,” the officers said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:29:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/we-are-shouted-at-and-threatened-say-officers/article24188332.ece

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