Suspended OAS officer alleges intolerance, undue influence of non-Odia officers

Bhubaneswar: OAS officer Deba Prasad Dash who was recently placed under suspension as a part of departmental disciplinary action, today alleged that he has been a victim of growing intolerance & undue influence of non-Odia officers in state bureaucracy and governance.

While Dash said he was punished unnecessarily due to sycophancy of some particular officers, many believe that he paid the price for taking the stage in some events of the Central government.

“We are being treated as labourers and any action can be taken against us without giving prior notice. It is because of undue influence of non-Odia officers and a conspiracy of few sycophant officers who support them,” said Dash.

“I may have been suspended for being a dignified Odia officer and second reason is intolerance. Has my department ever complained that I am not performing my duties?” he questioned.

Dash, as an Enforcement Officer of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) had hogged limelight during the demolition of Patasani Matha in Bhubaneswar on March 7, 2015. However, he was shunted after seven days.

He has been transferred six times in last four years for initiating action against unauthorized construction and encroachments at various places. Prior to demolition of Patasani Matha, Dash had issued notices against 86 organisations including Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS).

However this time round, Dash who was serving as the Joint Secretary & Director in-charge of Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department was suspended on May 28 without any notice.

Meanwhile, Dash has also raised doubts over the silence of the OAS association which surprisingly had come out in support of the IAS association that had approached Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan allegedly targeted State IT Department secretary, Ashok Meena during an event in Bhubaneswar.

“The officers are always in search of better positions for themselves and seek benevolence from higher authorities. As per my knowledge, the present Secretary of OAS association is owner of a construction company. They are all concerned about their self interests so why will they stand in my support,” rued Dash.

In response to the allegations, President of OAS Association, Saroj Samal said that if Dash is at fault, a notice will be issued against him or else the association will come forward in his support.

“If dereliction of duty is found against Das, then he will be served a show cause notice; and if he is innocent, government’s attention will be sought,” said Samal.

On the other hand, departmental minister Prafulla Samal said in a job, suspensions and transfers are daily routine.

“Every day someone in the department is suspended, promoted or issued show-cause notice. It is the day to day work of an administrative department. No action has been taken against anybody with a grudge, so, there is nothing to worry about it,” said Samal.

It is worthwhile to mention that Dash was not only anchoring various events of the Central government but he has also coordinated many programmes of the State government on stage.

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