“I will slap you and it will break your teeth…Don't you have any shame?”
This is what an MLA from Karnataka Satish Reddy allegedly told deputy conservator of forests and 2010 batch Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer Deepika Bajpai. After media reports were published about the use of foul language by the MLA, IAS Association took to Twitter to say: “Strongly condemned. Dignity and honour of officers can’t be compromised. Threatening officers on duty is unacceptable”. It’s not yet known how Indian Forest Service Association has reacted to the incident. The woman officer wrote in a social media site that “no upright officer will take such nonsense lying down”. In fact, the incident occurred at Kodichikkannahall area of Bengaluru that witnessed…massive flood last week. According to reports, MLA Reddy and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner first reached the area for flood inspection. The IFoS officer arrived late there, but as soon as she reached the spot, the MLA started shouting at her using all foul language, for what he thought she was ignorant about the cause of the sudden flood. She was recently appointed in that area.
The media reports on the incident further said that the officer was first stunned hearing the MLA’s verbal attack, but then, she asked the public representative to mind his language. The officer later wrote in a social media site: “What ensued then between me and the MLA and what will be my next action is a different matter. However I express my sympathy for such people who do not have the guts to face an officer with facts and try to whip up public emotions in times of crisis. And this time it was flood”.
She further wrote that amidst hysteria and public outrage over water inundation, it's easy to find a scapegoat and direct the public ire on hapless officers. She then made it very clear that corrupt and inefficient bureaucrats may take insults lying down, but not an upright officer.
The officer is likely to take up the issue with Indian Forest Service officers association. No media report so far has received reactions from the MLA concerned.